A fourth-generation mariachi herself, Michelle Quintero said like most music teachers, she is proud of any student’s success, but that of Sebastien De La Cruz has taken on “Star Spangled” significance.
After his initial rendition of the national anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals generated racist tweets, De La Cruz was back by popular demand ahead of Game 4, for an encore performance.
Thousands inside the ATT Center erupted in applause when he was done, as both rival NBA coaches walked out to congratulate him
Overnight, De La Cruz’s Facebook page ballooned with over 400,000 admirers of his singing and his poise.
As his voice teacher and mentor since he was only 5 years old, Quintero said, “Sebastien has a really good heart.”
But she also said her charismatic student has more than that.
“He has that tough skin to believe in who he is and he has no problem doing that,” Quintero said. “He knows he’s very good at what he does.”
Quintero also said Sebastien actually loves all types of music from pop to opera.
“I believe he will continue to be representing the Mexican culture for a very long time. That seems to be one of his first loves,” Quintero said. “I know he’ll be doing really great things from here on out.”
She said Sebastien travelled to New York City on Thursday for a Mariachi conference where he will be considered a shining example for others.