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Local singer takes the top prize

By Bill Althaus bill.althaus@examiner.net

When Aniyah Henson looks back at 2020, she is going to have one reason to smile.

The Fort Osage High School senior is the winner of the KC SuperStar competition, which took place in a virtual final round this past Sunday.

Fort Osage High School senior Aniyah Henson is the winner of the 2020 KC SuperStar competition. She wins a $10,000 scholarship, which she will use at Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss.

She beat out 10 other finalists to win a $10,000 scholarship she will use when she attends Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss.

“That scholarship is sure going to help with college,” said Henson, who was a finalist in 2019. “A lot of bad things have happened this year, but this is a good thing.

“I’m still kind of shocked, and I am so thankful to the judges and everyone who has helped me get this far in my musical journey.”

One of those individuals is Fort Osage choir director Julie Ammons, who shares in Henson’s celebration.

“She’s shocked, I’m not,” Ammons said. “I have so much confidence in Aniyah. There were a lot of great singers, and Aniyah did a great job.”

She sang “Crazy,” by Cee Lo Green.

“It’s been a crazy year, and I just thought that would be a good song,” Henson said.

One of the major fundraisers for the Jewish Community Center, the KC SuperStar competition was expected to raise $8 million through community contributions.

The KC SuperStar competition helps fund programming at the center, scholarships for its Child Development Center as well as para support, transportation and meals for seniors and the Rock Steady program to help those with Parkinson’s disease. 

A three-judge panel of entertainment professionals – Broadway performer Eric Huffman, vocalist Millie Edwards Cunningham and commercial music artist Lindsey Jones – watched Sunday’s competition via Zoom.

Community Jewish Center donors then joined the judges in deciding the final outcome.

The KC SuperStar top prize of the Edward and Ellen Rose $10,000 Scholarship went to Henson; scholarships were also awarded for second place, $5,000; third place $2,500; and fourth place, $1,000. All the other finalists receive $500 scholarships.