Jamia Simone youngest performer at Oscars

February 21, 2008 6:59:12 PM PST
Jamia Simone Nash isn't worried about being the youngest performer at the 80th Academy Awards. Instead, she sees the high-pressure opportunity as a privilege. "I could be sitting in a hotel room watching the Oscars," said the 11-year-old Nash, who will perform with the IMPACT Repertory Theatre of Harlem at Sunday's awards show in Los Angeles. They are set to perform "Raise It Up," the Oscar-nominated song from "August Rush."

Nash first learned of the nomination during her 6th-grade middle school class in suburban Atlanta. She said a classmate told her about it after an announcement by the principal.

"At first, I didn't even hear my name," Nash said. "It was so loud, everyone was screaming. Then all of a sudden, this smart-genius kid named Corey said I was going to the Oscars."

Nash is used to being on the big stage. Her first major performance came at 6, winning a McDonald's singing competition.

She also has appeared on "Showtime at the Apollo," ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

Nash said her parents, James and Charlene - who are both gospel singers and musicians - have helped her prepare for the Oscars, which will air live on ABC. She said they haven't let the pressure of performing or winning an award become stressful.

"I just haven't worried about it," Nash said. "If I don't win, hey, I will still give God the glory."