Aislynn ‘Azzy’ Brooks getting set to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Amalie Arena before the February 29 Tampa Bay Lightning game.

By Linda Chion Kenney

Ten years into her life, Aislynn ‘Azzy’ Brooks bets on a lifetime’s worth of performances, using her early reviews to buttress a fledgling career that takes advantage of today’s social and user-friendly platforms and technologies.

“Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be Lady Gaga or Bebe Rexha,” the Valrico resident said about the pop stars she greatly admires. “I wanted to be on that stage performing for people to make them smile.”

Indeed, that’s what she did in a grand way February 29 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, where she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the start of the Tampa Bay Lightning matchup against the Calgary Flames.

“I was excited and nervous at the same time because there’s a lot of people in that big arena,” Brooks said. “I was really excited because I never got the opportunity to do something like that before.”

That’s not to say Brooks is a stranger to the stage. She’s a member of the nonprofit Entertainment Revue in Tampa, a professional song and dance ensemble that stages more than 40 shows annually.

She works with managers and producers and is committed to learning the ukulele, piano and guitar. Her original song, “Vices,” comes out in March, and her ‘Azzy Brooks’ YouTube channel features her covers of popular hits, including Rexha’s “You Can’t Stop the Girl” and Lady Gaga’s “Shallow.”

“Ever since she could make noise, I remember her singing,” said Azzy’s mother, Heather Brooks. “She could say ‘baby’ when she was one, so I played Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby,’ and she’d belt it out in the stroller.”

Four years later, Heather Brooks added, with Disney’s Frozen set for unprecedented success, “Azzy would prance around in costume, belting out ‘Let It Go.’”

From the fake microphones to her real-life live audiences, the journey of a performer is not one Azzy takes lightly.

“I want to go to the GRAMMYs,” she said, with a name in mind for her devoted fans. “I want to be a singer and I want to have my own concerts with my own ‘Azzy Angelz.’”

To follow Azzy, visit www.facebook.com/azzybrooksofficial.