Prince Albert teen's Demi Lovato cover strikes a chord, draws stories of sobriety

Fifteen-year-old Rebecca Strong knew her dad was watching and recording her as she played the piano and belted out a ballad. What the Prince Albert teen didn’t know was that the video would explode on social media.

Rebecca Strong's performance of Sober has garnered more than 500,000 views

A video of 15-year-old Rebecca Strong performing Demi Lovato's Sober has reached thousands of viewers. (Submitted by Rebecca Strong)

Fifteen-year-old Rebecca Strong knew her dad was watching and recording her as she played the piano and belted out a ballad.

What the Prince Albert, Sask., teen didn't know was that a video of her performance of Demi Lovato's Sober would explode on social media, with 11,000 shares and more than 500,000 views as of Saturday on Facebook, and comments pouring in about people's personal struggles with addictions.

"It really brings a lot of heartfelt emotions," Glen Strong said of his daughter's performance. "How many times have you wanted to say 'sorry' for your downfalls? A lot of us suffer from addictions — I think that's why it's gained in popularity."

Strong had been practising for Voices of the North, a showcase for northern performers that will be held in Prince Albert from Feb. 21 to 23. She'd been playing Lovato's Sober for a week and wanted to show her father how far she had come along.  

The lyrics feature the American pop star's apologies to her friends, family and fans for falling back into addictions after six years of sobriety, singing, "I'm so sorry, I'm not sober anymore."

Strong said she felt a lot of people would connect to Lovato's powerful ballad, but she was blown away by the response.

One viewer said the performance brought tears.

"I'm 5 months sober and this song was meant to be heard," the viewer wrote.

Others weighed in with stories of their own months and years of sobriety.

"With all this love and support I've been getting this past week, and my whole entire singing career — I've always done it not just for me, but for other people as well," said Strong.

Her love of music drives her to practise every day, uploading her performances on YouTube and Instagram channels.  

"I don't know what I'd do without music," she said.

"I just hope it takes me somewhere."

About the Author

Janani Whitfield

Janani Whitfield spent 10 years working in the newspaper industry in Alberta before joining CBC Saskatchewan as a web writer in 2017. Contact her at janani.whitfield@cbc.ca on on Twitter, @WhitfieldJanani.

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