The Super Bowl is known for its commercials, but one in particular had viewers Sunday night feeling a little more emotional than usual. Toyota shared a commercial showing a sweet baby born without legs beyond her knees and her rise to become Lauren Woolstencroft, eight-time Paralympic gold medalist. But what song is in the Toyota Super Bowl commercial? It went with the inspiring story perfectly, and, surprisingly, it's not exactly some song you're hearing on your top 40 station. After listening to the lyrics and doing some research, the song seems to be "Stronger Than I've Ever Been" by Kaleena Zanders.
In a tweet shared Sunday, Zanders retweeted Toyota's official share of the commercial, writing how grateful she was to be a part of it and how beautiful the commercial is. In the tweet, she also noted that the song was produced by dirty Monster. While one might assume that Toyota would pull out a major hit for this piece, it seems they went for an aspiring artist — even Zanders' producer's Twitter page seems to be newly created. It makes the commercial, which truly is beautiful, even more inspiring. Against all the odds, people are doing big things, whether it's Woolstencroft or Zanders.
I'm always a fan of new artists getting a huge chance to shine and it looks like Zanders' song being part of an incredible Super Bowl commercial is well deserved. One look at the singer's Instagram shows that she has been hustling for a long time with plenty of posts featuring her singing and on stage. Last year, Zanders also shared on her official Facebook page that she was performing at Coachella with fellow artist SNBRN, and has been featured on several of SNBRN's tracks. Her Spotify profile shows a few tracks, too, but it seems like "Stronger Than I've Ever Been" was just released in 2017.
So for now, it looks like you can definitely listen to the song on Spotify and iTunes because it's one you'll want to remember long after the Super Bowl. The lyrics are really beautiful, spelling out hope and perseverance in a way most Super Bowl commercials don't. This is Toyota's biggest Super Bowl ad buy ever, according to Ad Age, and I really think they made the right choice. The article noted that Toyota is a huge sponsor of the Olympics and Paralympics, so it was pretty unsurprising that they would go that way with their commercial, especially after sitting out the Super Bowl last year and with the Olympics starting in less than a week.
Wondering how true the commercial is? You're in luck — it's pretty accurate. In a statement, Woolstencroft shared, "If I could describe my journey in the Paralympic Games in one word, I would say determination," USA Today reported. She was also involved with the commercial, sharing that she hoped her story would encourage and inspire others and that she truly enjoyed working with Toyota to share her journey.
The Paralympic Games website noted that Woolstencroft is known as "Golden Girl" and is one of the best Alpine skiers in the world. Born with no legs beyond the knees and no left arm below the elbow, she was up against huge odds, as the Toyota commercial depicted, but the Paralympic Games website reported that she began at the age of 4 and was competitively skiing by 14.
Basically, she's a bad*ss, just like the commercial depicted. And watching her inspiring story while listening to a beautiful song sung by an aspiring artist is truly lovely. Both are overcoming huge odds to find success, and that's pretty encouraging.
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