Just a year ago, Angie Miller was performing in church, school and, occasionally, in North Shore coffeehouses. Now, the 18-year-old Beverly native is singing her way, hopefully, to the finals of “American Idol.” This week, Miller is among the Top 7 remaining contestants, and you can bet the whole of Beverly watched Wednesday night with their fingers ready to hit the digits, and will watch Thursday night with their fingers crossed.
“We’re all going to be voting for her,” says Albana Meta, owner of Beverly’s Gusto Cafe on Cabot Street. “She just sang here a few months ago. She sang here twice to help me out when I opened my cafe last year. For her, it wasn’t a job; it was something to do for someone. She’s just like that.”
The tinted window of the cafe is painted in huge white letters that read, “Gusto loves Angie Miller! Please vote for her!” Similar signs adorn many of the businesses on Beverly’s thoroughfare.
“Her friends come in and they all want her to win, they all like her. They all say, ‘Go Angela,’” says Meta. “She has a nice personality, there’s no jealousy at all. The whole town is happy for her.”
Indeed, Beverly is swelling with pride and good wishes. “I just saw her mother and her brother, and they are just so proud.”
Miller’s father, Guy, is the pastor at Remix Church in Salem, and the church’s Facebook page shows a photo of two people performing at the Easter Sunday service. The caption says they’re dancing to Angela Miller’s song, “You Set Me Free.” Miller began singing in church and in her school choir.
This week’s Idol musical theme is “Classic Rock, No Ballads,” which meant that last night Angie had to well, rock out. No problem, says Meta.
“She can sing different songs. When she played here she sang one of her own songs and some other songs. She is gifted; she’s an amazing singer.”
What if Miller wins “Idol” and becomes the next Carrie Underwood, a superstar?
“She could be big, she’s very talented. But she already told me she wants to come back here and sing again. She cares about her friends.”