Lilian Garcia Speaks Out - The Rock's Influence, WWE
Source: Miami HeraldWhile high school classmates and teachers of Lilian Garcia knew she could sing, it wasn't until Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson found out, that her singing career began to blossom.
"The Rock likes to sing, too, and he found out I could sing," the former ring announcer of Monday Night RAW told the Miami Herald in an interview.
"I was talking to him one day, and 'The National Anthem' came up as a subject. I said, 'Yea, I sang 'The National Anthem' at my high school graduation.' There was 600 people in the auditorium. I was in drama in high school, and I always sang in high school. So people there knew me as a singer.
"So he goes, 'Wow. We actually play 'The National Anthem' [at house shows]; it's always an instrumental [recording] that plays, before we go out.' He goes, 'I'm going to talk to the agent, and we should get you to sing 'The National Anthem.'
"It was Feb. 11, 2000, and I was doing my first live event [house show] because I had only done Raw, and we were in Denver. Rock mentioned it to one of the agents, and they had me sing it there that night. It went over so well that the agent had me do it that whole weekend - Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
"By Monday morning, Vince McMahon heard about it, and he mentioned it at the meeting. He said, 'So I hear that someone took the house down and can sing. I've got to see it for myself. So I want you to sing it tonight.' It was in San Jose for Raw on Feb. 14 on Valentine's Day 2000, and I sang it ever since."
Garcia knows all too well that being a ring announcer is a daunting task in WWE.
Garcia said, "I think they've gone through four girls already after me, and some of them talked to me and said, 'Wow. We never knew how hard this job was. You really do have to think on your feet all the time, and you've got to know everything.' For me, it was years before. I mean I started getting more and more comfortable. Some of the rules for the matches were so long. When it's rules, it's different than when you're talking to somebody 1-on-1. You can't deviate from the rules. You can't adlib the rules. You really have to memorize it.
"It can be they gave you the rules 45 minutes before the match or 15 minutes before the match. Then you have to memorize something really, really fast that's technical. There were times even [near the end of her career] that my stomach was like because I didn't want to mess up."
Garcia is hoping to release her second music album or at least a single by the end of the year. Visit LilianGarcia.com for the latest on the progress of the album.