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‘AGT’ Star Kaitlyn Maher Reemerges into Music With Single ‘Good Friend Salary’ [EXCLUSIVE]

Kaitlyn Maher in her cover art for "Good Friend Salary"Photo provided by Kaitlyn Maher

Reading Time: 4 minutes

After nearly 15 years, former AGT child star Kaitlyn Maher is re-emerging into the music scene. The singer just released her first single, “Good Friend Salary.” Here’s what the song is about, and what Maher is up to now.

For those who may have forgotten, Kaitlyn Maher was only four years old when she competed on America’s Got Talent season 3. She made it into the Top 10, before being eliminated. Following her appearance on AGT, Maher released her debut album, You Were Meant to Be. She also began acting in films like Santa Buddies, The Search for Santa Paws, and more.

Kaitlyn Maher is now 19 years old, studying public policy at Duke University, and she’s ready to reintroduce herself to the world.


“Good Friend Salary” is About Healthy Boundaries in a Friendship

Maher’s first release, “Good Friend Salary,” is a story about a lesson the singer learned. The inspiration from this song branches from one of Maher’s friendships, where she was “spending some extra time with” them, and “listening to their problems.”

“I remember one day I just sort of was having a bad day myself and it was just like, I really needed a friend,” she said. “I called them, I texted them, and they were just totally MIA… Then it happened again a couple of weeks later…”

She also explained that she hopes fans can not only relate with “Good Friend Salary,” but learn about healthy boundaries in friendships.

“The song is sort of my realization that even though I cared so much, it’s possible to care about somebody and still be like, a kind human being while also not playing therapists for them, not allowing yourself to be walked over,” she said. “Basically, ultimately, the realization that boundaries are really important.”

Maher’s Family Has Been Extremely Supportive of Her Passion, Since Day 1

When a child contestant takes the AGT stage for the first time, fans always wonder how they ended up in that position. For Maher, it was a YouTube birthday video that brought her to the stage.

One year, the Maher family was unable to make it to a family reunion, so Kaitlyn’s relatives asked her parents to email a video of her singing “Happy Birthday” for the event. The video was too big to send via email, so they uploaded it to YouTube. At the time, YouTube wasn’t what it is today.

“A number of months later, my dad gets an email from an NBC casting agent… But the email, he just thought it looked fishy… like this has got to be a scam,” she said. “So he calls NBC…like, I want to report to you that there’s somebody who I think is impersonating one of your casting directors that might be, a child predator type of situation. And they go, oh, hello, Mr. Maher…We would love for her to come and audition for the show.”

After speaking to NBC, Maher’s parents sat her down and explained the opportunity to her. While speaking of her parents, Kaitlyn explained that her parents have “never hid things” from her, no matter her age.

“They’ve always been so open, both when I was really young, like four and five, and throughout the entirety of my childhood, and still today, they’re some of my biggest confidants with music and everything else,” she said.

After talking it through with her parents, she decided to take the opportunity.

“I think what most people don’t realize is that they almost tried to talk me out of it. They were like, oh, my gosh, no you don’t understand,” she said. “There’s going to be lots of people. It’s a big stage. People might know who you are. It might be a little scary. And I was like, I want to do it.”


She’s Felt No Pressure in Her Career

After appearing on AGT, Maher launched into both the film and music industries, but it was all her choice. She specified that everything she’s done in her career thus far has been her choice, supported by her parents. She’s never felt an ounce of pressure, from anyone.

“I think a lot of people have over the years have been really excited to hear more music and have asked, like, are you going to release things? And I’ve never interpreted that negatively as pressure on myself,” she said. “I think part of that comes from the fact that I have a really supportive family that’s very much like, if you want to do this, absolutely do it. We’ll fully support you. But also if you don’t want to do music, you can do other things.”

In turn, her parents have supported her figuring out her passions elsewhere. That’s how she began pursuing her interests in different ways, which led her to her public policy major.

“I’m releasing music now at a time that I’m really ready to. I think I’ve really grown as a songwriter and as an artist,” she said. “I remember in high school thinking to myself that if I released music again, I wanted it to be things that I had 100% completely written myself, because I love songwriting,” she said.

“Good Friend Salary” is now available on all streaming platforms, as well as on iTunes.

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