PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – The head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bruce Arians, hosted a fundraiser at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor in April. You can bet the course was teeming with stars but one of them emerged rather unexpectedly, stealing the show with his musical performance.
Jadon Perez, who is only 10 years old, dressed for success. He had only sung in public a handful of times but, standing in front of hundreds of people in his red Mike Evans jersey, he did it and he did it well.
The crowd erupted into cheers as soon as he finished singing “God Bless America” and the national anthem.
The announcer verbalized the thoughts of everyone in attendance.
“Jadon Perez, ladies and gentlemen!” he exclaimed. “Way to go, Jadon! Guys, remember that name, Jadon Perez. He is going to make it big. Let’s give it up one more time!”
Ironically, instead of Jadon cheering for the Buccaneers, the Buccaneers were cheering for him.
“They were saying, ‘Great job!’ and, like, a lot of comments,” he told 8 On Your Side’s Gabrielle Shirley when she asked him what type of reaction he received from the members of that crowd. “I need to get used to singing in front of a lot of people.”
Jadon has limited experience singing in front of an actual audience but he has been singing in front of his parents and his younger sister for years.
“I started singing when I was, like, I would say a little younger than one,” he said.
His parents have the evidence to prove it.
“Do you know the muffin man, who lives down in the drain?” sang a young Jadon.
He swapped “Drury Lane” for “down in the drain” but he did not muddle the melody.
“Parents can relate, you know, kids are cute,” said Jadon’s father, Christian Perez, “and you are like, ‘Man, this is awesome. Keep doing it.’”
A teacher actually reprimanded Jadon when he was in kindergarten because he could not control his singing.
“I was singing in class,” he recalled, “and, then, the teacher told me to stop singing and I started humming.”
“For a split second, I was kind of proud,” admitted Christian. “I was like you found the, ‘Yes!’ He is always singing on his iPad, constantly singing when he is doing homework, singing in the car, singing in the pool, I mean, he sings himself to sleep!”
Christian remembers the moment he realized his son had a special talent. He grabbed the video he shot on that day in 2018.
“This,” he said referencing the following video, “like that tenderness. I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I was like, ‘Dude! What? What was that? Run that back again.’”
Those videos have been shared on a variety of social media platforms and one of them caught the attention of Bruce Arians’ son, Jake. He knows Christian because the father is a part of a popular Tampa Bay Buccaneers podcast, the Loose Cannons Podcast.
“He was like, ‘Whoa! Your kid is incredible. I love that kid. How would you like to have him sing at the golf tournament?’ and I was like, ‘Dude, he has never sung in public like that,’ and he is like, ‘He will be fine. He will be fine. He is incredible. He will be fine,’” said Christian.
Jadon felt nervous but he did not feel as nervous as his dad, who admits he struggles in the spotlight.
“To see him face his fears,” said Christian through his tears, “what I can’t do, was pretty cool.”
Jadon met Mike Evans, his favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, following his performance and he confirmed that that was the coolest part of the entire experience. Evans called him “a beast” and, according to Christian, Jadon is still talking about it.
“That made his whole year,” said Christian. “Evans played cornhole with him. Godwin came up to him. Coach Arians, of course, thank you again. Byron Leftwich, Jamel Dean, all of the players, the other golfers, the regular people who were donating money for a great cause, they were all like, ‘Man, you did incredible!’ They wanted pictures with him.”
While Jadon definitely has music in his future, Christian stated his son will be the one responsible for choosing what he wants to do with it.
“If he wants to go far with it and push and try to make a career out of it and go big, great. If he wants to sing just for us, I am perfectly fine with that as well,” said Christian. “Just have fun while you are doing it. That is enough for me.”