Father-daughter duo Mat and Savanna Shaw performed a version of The Prayer on their YouTube channel two months ago, and they could never have imagined what happened next. The musical family went totally viral, earning almost 6 million views on their video. They were both stuck at home because of the coronavirus, and they decided to use their talents to encourage people in the midst of the crisis.


My background is in music. Truly, I was completely blown away just to hear them. They are pitch-perfect with a beautiful tone. Savannah’s voice reminded me of Eva Cassidy, whom I regard as the greatest female vocalist of all time. The utterly amazing thing is, Savannah is only 15, so she could eclipse Cassidy in a few years’ time. Female singers usually hit their peak in their early thirties.

The thing that really smashed me though, was not just the astounding quality of both her and her father’s voices, but the obvious great relationship this wonderful father and daughter have together. I well know the joy that performing with your family brings to you.

I have picked four comments from over 10,000 on their YouTube comment list, to give you greater understanding of the varied joy of the listeners.

Debbie Bednarchik’s comment had the most likes:

“My husband has been battling cancer. He was in the hospital having part of his liver removed, and because of the coronavirus I was not allowed in the hospital to be at his side. I was home pacing and scared. A friend sent me an email and told me to listen. I sat alone at my computer, listening to your song, with tears streaming down my face.

I have heard The Prayer sung by many different artists, but you two are the most amazing! Not only do you have the most beautiful voices, you two have the most pure, sincere voices! You sing from your soul! I can’t thank you enough for touching the deepest part of me and lifting me up during a very dark and scary moment in my life. You both have been given an incredible gift. God Bless You for using it to lift so many others! With Love and Gratitude, Debbie.”

Laura Hardiek  commented,

“Mat and Savanna, this is by far the happiest, most beautiful thing I have seen recently. I am an ER nurse (Emergency Response) and am surrounded by the chaos and fear of what is going on right now. It is SO nice to see and hear this uplifting rendition of one of my favorite songs. It is just so timely. Thank you.”

Bryce Miller gave some extremely high praise:

“I enjoyed this more than Josh Groban and Celine Deon’s, and even Andre Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s performances (as wonderful as their performances were). Beautifully done!”

Dee Wilkerson explained the reason the Dads4Kids team is also so excited about this amazing Daddy-Daughter Duet,

“Beautiful. And, dad, your expressions while listening to your daughter is PRICELESS.”

Mat and Savanna tell the famous singer Kelly Clarkson how their stunning performance came together, and give the background for the other outstanding duets they have created.



Lottie Elizabeth Johnson from Deseret News wrote this heartwarming article titled “Watch: Daddy-daughter singing duo from Utah goes viral for ‘The Prayer’“:

It started at the kitchen table. In late February, 15-year-old Savanna Shaw and her dad, Mat Shaw, recorded their rendition of “The Prayer” — a duet made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, according to the Daily Signal.

Savanna wasn’t active on social media. But with choir rehearsals being canceled, she wanted to keep in touch with her friends. So, she created an Instagram account and posted the video. She didn’t think the video would reach beyond her close friends and family…

Since that first video, the Shaws, who are from Kaysville, Utah, have done a number of duets — everything from “Beauty and the Beast” to “The Phantom of the Opera” to “The Greatest Showman”.

“It’s a really hard time for a lot of people right now, and music has such a unique way of communicating hope, especially,” Mat Shaw said during an interview last month with Good Morning America. “Savanna chose ‘The Prayer’ because of the message that it shares. It’s just a simple prayer from a father and a daughter, for life to be kind.”

During a recent Zoom interview with Clarkson, Savanna said she was inspired to sing because of her dad, who always sings around the house.

“Man, it is so beautiful,” Clarkson said. “Personally, because I didn’t grow up with a father, to see that connection is so beautiful.”

Mat Shaw told Clarkson he and his daughter record their duets in a “quarantine recording studio” — aka his closet.

“We plug into the iPad and we just make do with what we’ve got in our closet,” Mat Shaw said.

The Shaws launched a YouTube channel a month ago and have more than 350,000 subscribers. A handful of their duets each have more than 1 million views.

“The only thing more contagious than a virus is hope,” Mat Shaw told Good Morning America. “We’re just trying to do our small part in the world to help spread some hope.”


Get your family together and watch some of Mat and Savannah’s amazing performances. You will be happier and healthier for the experience.

Yours for More Daddy-Daughter Duets,
Warwick Marsh

[Photo: Pixabay]

About the Author: Warwick Marsh

Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker. Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”

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