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Oakland’s Got Talent

Teen band PopLyfe rocked their way to the finals of America’s Got Talent!


Justin Lubin/NBC

The solidarity of Oakland teen band PopLyfe was tested right off the bat while performing on America’s Got Talent. Piers Morgan, an ornery judge for the hit NBC talent show competition, told the band’s 16-year-old lead singer, Kehlani Parrish, that he’d vote her into the next round—but only if she ditched her fellow five bandmates.

Not a chance. Parrish quickly won over the crowd, and the other two judges, by standing her ground. “I’m always going to stick up for my band, whether it’s on national television, on the street, or in somebody’s living room,” Parrish told Diablo. “Those guys are my brothers.”

Morgan soon became a believer after the band’s rocking performance of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” which catapulted them into the competition’s semifinal round, and it’s easy to see why. Composed of longtime friends with real musical chops (several attend Oakland’s School for the Arts), PopLyfe mixes an infectious enthusiasm with a wonderfully eclectic musical taste and sense of style, all into one electric package that has earned it comparisons to another teen pop group: the Jackson 5.

PopLyfe breezed into the finals and as of press time was set to compete for the $1 million prize, in a performance that aired September 14.

But win or lose, this is one group that is in it for the long haul.

“We were best friends before the band, and that proves we can still be best friends after the band,” says Parrish. “But we’re going to stick together. Rock the world, total domination, PopLyfe lunch boxes—we’d like all of that.”

For information on the band, go to poplyfe.com.

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