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Syesha Mercado concert draws a diverse crowd in Palmetto

If the diversity of the crowd at Thursday night’s Syesha Mercado concert is any indication, she is a recording company’s dream.

It seemed that every age demographic was represented in the crowd, from grandmothers to tiny tots. At the more “senior” end, Elaine Christensen and Bernadette Sethman arrived early to get a spot at the head of the line. And, Maddie Hazuda, Natalie Tuskan and Adrienne Day were happy representatives of the large population of “tweenagers.”

In case you’ve been stranded on a desert island, Syesha is the local singing sensation who achieved national fame as one of the top three finalists on “American Idol.” Her sister, Xtavia Bailey, is a local facilitator for the self-esteem building program Amer-I-Can, so Syesha helped out by donating the performance to help fund the curriculum locally.

A big group of people paid extra to attend the pre-concert VIP reception for the chance to meet Syesah, including several slightly star-struck elected officials. Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore and school board member Bob Gause patiently waited in line to get Syesha’s autograph and pose for a quick photo.

Other Syesha supporters included Gladys Houston leading a crowd of kids from the Palmetto Youth Center, Linda and Mike Edwards, Patty Persson and her daughter, Hannah, and Palmetto Police Chief Garry Lowe and his son, William.

Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years.