12-Year-Old YouTube Sensation Christopher Duffy Spends Whirlwind Week In Nashville

Twelve-year-old YouTube sensation Christopher Duffley, who is blind and has autism, recently spent a whirlwind week filled with performances, media interviews and meeting with industry leaders in Nashville and Atlanta.

Duffley, his  mother, Christine, and sister, Grace, traveled from their New Hampshire home to Nashville to attend the 2014 National Religious Broadcasters Convention (NRB) at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. While in Middle Tennessee, Christopher performed during services at the World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Following their Nashville appointments, the Duffleys trekked to Atlanta, where Christopher appeared as a guest on WATC TV57’s Friends & Neighbors and the station’s flagship show, Atlanta Live. Christopher also was an in-studio guest at WWEV – Victory 91.5.
We were honored to meet so many people with a heart for God and ministry,” says Christine Duffley. “We kept hearing that Christopher was the highlight for many interviewers as he shared not only about his accomplishments, but his heart.”
The Southeast media tour follows several months of high-profile events for Christopher, including his standing ovation-evoking performance of “Lean On Me” at New York City’s Winter Autism Ball, hosted by Autism Speaks and New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA) in December at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Christopher was joined onstage for background vocals by Michael Bolton, Kelly Rowland and the Harlem Gospel Choir.
Christopher was also selected as one of “10 Amazing Individuals With Autism Who Shined In 2013” in the current issue of the Autism Speaks national newsletter.

Christopher’s heart is as big and beautiful as his voice,” says Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks.”When Christopher sings, the only thing more powerful than his lyrics is the courage behind them. He inspires us to see what matters most–what’s inside.

Christopher is garnering attention throughout the U.S. not only for his remarkable talent, but also for the challenges with which he lives. He released his debut CD, Open The Eyes Of My Heart, on October 29, 2013.

Christopher’s story as a popular entertainer began when a video of the then 10-year-old Christopher singing “Open The Eyes of My Heart” at the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts in New Hampshire went viral, garnering more than 5 million views on YouTube. News of his remarkable talent spread like wildfire, culminating in Christopher singing the national anthem for the Boston Red Sox baseball team at Fenway Park.

Demand for Christopher to release a CD swelled, propelling the young singer and his family to travel to Nashville to work with Dove Award-winning producer, songwriter and arranger Steven V. Taylor (Kirk Franklin, Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant).

The result is an 11-song compilation of inspirational, patriotic and sacred songs, titled Eyes Of My Heart, that reaches deep into listeners’ hearts and encourages them to see with new eyes.
We chose the title from the song ‘Open the Eyes of My Heart’ because of its meaning in our lives,” says Christine Duffley, Christopher’s mother. “It was the first real song Christopher sang when he was 3 years old. He sang it during a mission trip and people broke down in tears. When Christopher sings, ‘Open The Eyes Of My Heart,’ I remember to not only see with my physical eyes, but to see as God sees–through my heart.

For more information about Christopher and Eyes Of My Heart, visit christopherduffley.com, like on Facebook (facebook.com/ChristopherDuffley) or follow on Twitter (twitter.com/ChisDuffley).

About Christopher Duffley:
Christopher Duffley entered this world with only a 50 percent chance of survival. Born prematurely at 26 weeks, Christopher weighed just 1 lb., 12 oz. and tested positive for cocaine. Miraculously, he survived, but an eye condition, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a disease that affects the eyes of many premature babies, rendered him totally blind by the time he was 6 months old. Due to his birth parents’ inability to care for him because of their drug dependency, Christopher was discharged from the hospital into foster care.

But Christopher’s struggles were not the end of the story. When his biological aunt and her husband, Christine and Stephen Duffley, learned that Christopher was in foster care, they sought him out. Once they located the child, they brought him home to New Hampshire to be part of their family.

By the time he reached 5 years old, Christopher had been diagnosed with autism. Although he had rarely conversed until he reached the first grade, Christopher’s adopted mother, Christine, had noticed his ability to make rhythmic noises and keep beat, and he had begun to pick out songs on the piano by age 3. Because of this natural affinity, music therapy was a logical choice to help Christopher learn to communicate, which Christine says he did more often by singing than talking. And, when he sang, it was in perfect pitch.

“Although the circumstances have been difficult and we have had challenges, we have found much joy and so many more blessings,” says Christine Duffley. “Family life is imperfect and messy, and it has been a journey of love, forgiveness and abandonment. Through it all, however, we are grateful that Christopher’s biological parents chose life and, now, God is using this life to touch the world for Christ.”

For more information about Christopher, visit christopherduffley.com.

 

Story Source: McCain & Co PR

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