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Impromptu Anthem at DC's Lincoln Memorial Goes Viral

The original Facebook video of Star Genleah Swain's performance has reached more than 2 million views

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    An assistant principal from Florida recently stunned visitors to the Lincoln Memorial with her powerful rendition of the national anthem — and video of her impromptu performance has racked up more than 2 million online views. 

    Star Genleah Swain burst into song on June 19 as she visited the monument with friends and family. She wrote on her Facebook page that loved ones "made” her perform and then filmed her.

    In the video, she starts off nervous, glancing around the memorial uncertainly.

    “She’s afraid,” the man filming her can be heard saying. “But watch God do it.”

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    As Swain prepares to sing, the man tells her, “Let the music speak.”

    Then, she did just that.

    Swain's powerful voice fills the Lincoln Memorial. She closes her eyes as she belts out “broad stripes and bright stars," and as her voice echoes, visitors begin to notice.

    A crowd forms, and by the time she belts out “home of the brave,” almost everyone looks captivated.

    Sean Rayford/Getty Images

    Swain doesn't open her eyes until the song is over. Then, the crowd bursts into applause.

    The video shows her leaving the spotlight laughing as a mix of family, friends and strangers rushed to congratulate her.

    “People just started saying ‘that was awesome, thank you,'" she told the Tallahassee Democrat. “One lady had tears in her eyes. I was kind of glad it was over. It was like a sigh of relief.”

    In a post to Facebook on Saturday, Swain wrote, "God is getting ready to do something big from what wasn’t even planned.”

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    She thanked people who shared the video, “and my friends and family who put me up to it.”

    The first video Swain published to her page had hit more than 2 million views by Wednesday afternoon, and praise for her voice filled the comments section on YouTube and Facebook posts. Some viewers compared her voice to Whitney Houston.

    Swain later posted a video singing her thanks to friends, family and listeners.

    “Over 10 million views! I thank God for you,” she sang, referring to views on multiple posts of the video.

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    Swain is a former singer and trombonist at Florida A&M University, she told the Tallahassee Democrat. She works as an assistant principal in Jefferson County, Florida, according to her Facebook page.