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Sami Brown: How a Midway student qualified for American Idol and a D1 scholarship

Meet Sami Brown: A 17-year-old Midway student who earned a yellow ticket in American Idol and a Division I soccer scholarship.

WACO, Texas — Sami Brown's introduction to crowds she's about to play for always starts the same way. 

"Hi, my name is Sami Brown. I am 17 years old, and I'm a senior at Midway."

Once the formalities are out of the way, Sami does what she does best: Wows the crowd.

On the Friday evening we spent with Sami, she covered Adele, Janis Joplin, Norah Jones, Garth Brooks and more famous artists.

While talking to Sami and her father, Sam Brown, we learned her talent was refined through hard work and spending quality time with her dad. 

"Especially with dads and daughters, as the little girls get older there's less and less in common. So, when she was almost 10, and she came to me and said, 'I want to learn how to play the guitar' I said, 'That's great. I'd always wanted to learn myself,'" Sam said. "So I called up Pat McKee, and the next thing I know we're doing lessons every Friday."

Sami describes her voice as "raspy," stemming from a combination of dealing with acid reflux and asthma in her early childhood. 

It was her guitar instructor who actually encouraged her to sing, but Sami said the difficulty of learning skills like singing and playing meant her talents are only recently all coming together. 

"Guitar was 100% harder because singing-- I don't know-- I really didn't start to focus on that until a couple of years ago honestly, but the guitar it's the most unnatural thing ever," Sami said. "Your hand isn’t used to that. That was a whole new thing, but the hardest part is learning to sing and play guitar at the same time."

People are just starting to take notice of Sami’s talent. She just recently qualified for American Idol at the tryout in Waco after school.  

Sami described the day she played her songs a got her yellow ticket. 

"That was one of the coolest days of my whole life because it was the day before and I was like, 'Oh Mom, American Idol is coming tomorrow to Waco,' and then she says, 'Oh you should stop by,'" Sami said. "I was like, 'Okay I might after school."

Hopefully after a recent Skype appearance with producers, she’ll continue to advance until she get an official Big-City televised tryout.

Sami’s future in music may be moving toward great things pretty fast, but the great times have already started for her in the athletic world.

Sami has earned a Division I Soccer Scholarship to play her college ball at Abilene Christian. Her Midway Soccer Coach, Bill Sharp, spoke highly of Sami.

Sharp described Sami as a great team leader with a great senior class to help her out. 

After meeting the multi-talented Sami, we asked her where she thought she’d be in 10 years. 

"I'm trying to decide between pre-med and business," Sami said. "I'm going to have to make a choice because those are not very similar majors, but either one of those I think will be really fun." 

Sam knows his daughter well enough to know how wonderfully unpredictable that future could be.

"My gut feeling is in 10 years she'll be someplace that none of us guessed," Sam said. "I don't know if it will be music, sports or medicine. Right now, if I were to guess I'd probably be assuring that's exactly what it won't be. She always surprises me and always pulls things out of her hip-pocket that I've never dreamed of."

Catch Kris Radcliffe's full coverage of Sami on 6 News at 10 p.m. Monday.

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