Ontario's Stella sisters head for TV debut on Nashville
The Canadian Press
Posted: Oct 23, 2012 3:30 PM ET
Last Updated: Oct 23, 2012 4:18 PM ET
Two young Ontario-raised sisters — who've landed over nine million YouTube views for their soulful performance of a Robyn tune while playing percussion with empty butter containers — are set to sing for the first time on network television.
Lennon and Maisy Stella — a.k.a. the Stella Sisters — play the daughters of country music star Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) on ABC's Nashville (airing on CTV Two in Canada) and will get to croon for the first time on Wednesday's instalment of the show.
In the episode, their characters perform a cover of a tune by country-music sensation Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) for a school talent show. The move upsets their mom, who's growing increasingly resentful as Juliette's star rises while her career sinks.
The Oshawa, Ont.-bred duo landed the parts earlier this year in Nashville, where they've lived with their parents — country music duo Marylynne and Brad Stella, a.k.a. the Stellas — since 2009.
"It's so weird to see Hayden and Connie because we've seen them in other things as well," Maisy, 8, said in a recent phone interview.
An Ice Princess fan
"Like, one of my favourite movies is Ice Princess and Hayden was in that and so I was freaking out when my mom told me that Hayden was going to be in the show because I love Hayden."Connie Britton plays country superstar Rayna, mother of two daughters, in the series Nashville. (Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC/Associated Press)
"It's really neat because they're all such nice people," added Lennon, 13.
It was a school talent show that also led to the Stella Sisters' YouTube rise in May.
Their parents were on a concert tour then and couldn't catch their school showcase, in which they sang Robyn's pop hit Call Your Girlfriend while making the beat through carefully choreographed hand movements and butter containers.
So they recreated the stunning performance on camera in their home and posted the clip to YouTube, where their parents have been showcasing clips of their girls for a couple of years now.
"It took about two days to learn, but when we were recording the video, Maisy's friend was actually over," said Lennon.
"She was upstairs in my room watching TV the whole time. I'm like, 'I'm so sorry!"' interjected Maisy.
"Maisy is a little distracted when her friend's over so it was hard because it took a lot of tries to get it," added Lennon.
The video, which was inspired by a YouTube clip of Swedish group Erato doing the same thing, has since netted nearly 9.6 million views and drawn interest from record labels as well as talk-show hosts Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest and Jeff Probst.
It's also inspired others to try to replicate their performance on YouTube.
"That's the coolest thing to see people cover — especially our version, when they say, 'Cover of Lennon and Maisy,"' said Lennon.
The sisters have been singing since they were toddlers and play piano, guitar, ukulele and drums. Their other hit YouTube clips include covers of When Your Mind's Made Up by the Swell Season and I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz.
"We've always been around music our entire lives," said Lennon, a bespectacled brunette with raspy vocals.
"Usually my instrument is my hand and my foot," noted blond Maisy, who is often seen in their YouTube clips stomping and clapping as she harmonizes with Lennon's lead vocals.
Love old country music
Since living in Nashville, the two have been able to hang out at the Grand Ole Opry and meet some of their idols.
"We love old country so when we saw Vince Gill it was like the biggest honour, we were so excited," said Lennon.
The two said they've been recording songs in the studio for Nashville but have no plans to make their own album just yet.
Instead, they plan to record one of their parents' original Christmas tunes and then see where it takes them.
On Tuesday, they were scheduled set to perform a live, online concert on Stageit.com.
"We're definitely going to stay with the music and stay with the acting as well," said Lennon.
"We sing separately and everything, but we want to sing together for as far as singing together will take us."
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