Paul McCartney Meets Canadian Teen Who Sang 'Blackbird'

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Paul McCartney told a stadium full of fans in Vancouver on Saturday night that he was nervous about performing his 1968 classic “Blackbird” because of a “beautiful” cover by Canadian teen Emma Stevens.

“You probably have heard it but there’s a beautiful version on the internet by a girl called Emma Stevens and she sings it in her native language. Have you heard it? It’s a beautiful version,” McCartney said.

“She’s actually here tonight. I met her before the show and I said to her, ‘Your version is so beautiful I’m going to be nervous singing my version.’ It’s fantastic and it’s in Mi’kmaq, do you know what that is?”

Stevens’ interpretation of “Blackbird” went viral after it was posted online in April and is closing in on 1 million views. McCartney has plugged her cover at other live performances, including one in Kentucky last month.

Written by McCartney and John Lennon in 1968, “Blackbird” was translated into the Mi’kmaq language by Katani Julian and Albert “Golydada"Julian and recorded by Stevens and students at Allison Bernard Memorial High School under the direction of music teacher Carter Chiasson.

Chiasson and Stevens spent a few minutes speaking with McCartney before his BC Place concert and gifted him with a Mi’kmaq medallion featuring an image of a blackbird, crafted by Vivian Googoo of Cape Breton.

According to the 2016 Census, Mi’kmaq is the mother tongue of about 7,140 people in Canada.