Multi-talented waiter Cracker Barrel whose incredible rendition of “Happy Birthday” recently went viral appeared on Wednesday TODAY, where she got the surprise of a lifetime: a recording deal.
Miranda Joy Willmore, who worked at Cracker Barrel in Marion, Illinois, for nearly 20 years, thought she was on the show singing “Happy Birthday” to one of our co-workers today, but Hoda and Jenna have revealed the good news that her employer is sending her and her band to Nashville to record an album.
Willmore was stunned. “It’s so awesome,” she said, wiping the tears from her face.
Cracker Barrel will fund the studio recording of an EP for Willmore and his band, U-Foria, at the end of July. Willmore has been with the Southern rock band for about four years. While they are touring across the United States and working on the goal of an EP, they had yet to be signed.
Willmore’s story – and her voice – gained national attention earlier this summer when she sang “Happy Birthday” to a Cracker Barrel customer right in the middle of the restaurant. This client, Jared Gravatt, then shared a video of the impressive performance on TikTok.
“Find this girl and make her famous please,” he wrote. “The best birthday song ever!”
Willmore said she had garnered a lot of attention since the video went viral, but had always been known as a singer locally, and it wasn’t her first impromptu performance at the restaurant where she works.
“The waiters know I can sing, so if they have a birthday they ask me to sing for their table,” she said, adding that she was happy to comply “just to make their day special. “.
Music is clearly an integral part of Willmore’s life. She calls her father, who was also a singer before he was diagnosed with throat cancer, her biggest inspiration and biggest fan. She counts Reba McEntire, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Shania Twain among her other musical influences.
Willmore and a member of the band also gave TODAY a mini-performance, singing one of their original songs, “Small Town Famous”, much to Hoda and Jenna’s delight.
“We want more!” Jenna said.