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Manitoba singer takes on mental health with onstage Carrie Underwood duet

Carrie Underwood.
Carrie Underwood. File

A Manitoba woman got a taste of superstardom Sunday night, when she was chosen to perform onstage at Bell MTS Place with Grammy-winning country singer Carrie Underwood.

La Broquerie’s Mélanie Bédard told 680 CJOB that she had entered a contest on Underwood’s social media for an opportunity to perform the rap portion of Underwood’s hit The Champion.

“It started out as a call out for submissions on her social media,” said Bédard.

Mélanie Bédard
Mélanie Bédard Facebook

“She posted that she was looking for someone in each city stop to join her on stage to do the rap on her song, so we had to submit a video of ourselves doing the rap, then it went through a panel of judges and they would choose who they would pick in each city – and I was chosen for Winnipeg.”

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Getting the nod alone would be a dream gig for any fan, but for Bédard, the chance to perform that specific song held extra meaning. The Champion, she said, is a song that has helped her through struggles with anxiety and depression.

“Even the first line itself – ‘C is for courage that I possess through the drama’ – that was the line that hit me, and it’s the first one,” she said.

“That’s really what music is for me. It’s an out, it’s something that… when I’m onstage, I don’t feel any of those feelings. All I feel is exhilaration. There’s nothing at that point that can bring me down.

“It just resonated with me. What it did was that it made me realize that I could be my own champion and I could be in control of my own happiness. I think too much of the time, we depend on what others think to make us happy… and that’s really our responsibility. It comes from within.

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Although Bédard said she didn’t get an opportunity to talk to Underwood after the performance, the onstage hug and the excitement of performing such an important song with her idol was sufficient.

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“Just feeling the energy off her was enough words for me,” she said.

WATCH: New online resource to help youth support others facing mental health struggles

New online resource to help youth support others facing mental health struggles
New online resource to help youth support others facing mental health struggles