When a Mi’kmaq teen’s rendition of the Beatles classic Blackbird, sung in her native language went viral last month, 16-year-old singer, Emma Stevens said her dream was for Paul McCartney to hear it. He did, and was so moved by it, he recommended people check out Emma’s version on YouTube, and they did… hundreds of thousands of people! But in her wildest dreams, Emma never thought she’d meet Sir Paul McCartney in person, but that just happened over the weekend… on Saturday night in Vancouver, where McCartney was playing a show at BC Place Stadium!
According to her teacher, Carter Chiasson, his brother Adam had “emailed the right person and said the right things and all of a sudden they had an invitation.” Before long they had plane tickets booked, concert tickets arranged, and plans to meet Paul McCartney backstage before the show. They waited in a room with roughly 50 other people (mostly family members of McCartney’s band) and then were taken into a room where they spent a few minutes talking privately with Paul McCartney. The pair presented Paul with a Mi’kmaq medallion that was made by Cape Breton artist Vivian Googoo and gifted to them by Assembly of First Nations regional chief Morley Googoo. On it is the image of a blackbird.
Paul McCartney then told Emma, “I really love your version. I’m going to be nervous singing my version tonight, your version is so beautiful.”
Emma Stevens was in Ottawa for the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival a couple of weeks ago at Vincent Massey Park, and she sang her now iconic version of ‘Blackbird’ on Parliament Hill as part of the Canada Day festivities. Check it out below.
Photo Credits: Adam Chiasson / Carter Chiasson