Singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey needed the voice of a child during a performance of his 1978 song, “What’s Forever For,” at a November 9, 2013 “We Are Hope” event for the MuzArt World Foundation, and his wishes were answered when 11-year-old Lexi Walker came up on stage to sing a duet with him.
Prior to beginning his song, which was written by Rafe VanHoy, Murphey explained to the crowd his reasoning for having a child sing the song with him. Murphey said it was because of how the song dealt with the issue of perseverance in a marriage, so that children won’t have to deal with the emotional impact of a broken home.
Murphey also explained that Billy Gillman recorded the song at the age of 11, making it appropriate for Walker to sing it with him. In addition, Murphey made a point of taking off his cowboy hat before the performance in tribute to Walker. The two begin singing for approximately three minutes, backed by the American Heritage Lyceum Orchestra, under the direction of Kayson Brown.
At the conclusion of the song, the assembled audience in the auditorium gives the pair a rousing ovation that lasts for at least 15 seconds. Despite her age, Walker’s singing career has grown exponentially in just a few years, performing at such prestigious places as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. A video of her singing the song, “Let It Go,” from the movie “Frozen,” has resulted in more than 70 million views.