Prosper's 9-year-old Dane Miller has always loved to sing. So, when his family watched a documentary about Whitney Houston, it was only natural that he tried to channel the legendary performer. A couple of weeks ago, Dane's father recorded him belting out Houston's classic track, “If I Can't Have You” during a car ride, and the video quickly garnered more than 25 million views on Facebook. But it wasn't the quantity of views that moved his family — it was the quality of the comments.
“So many people have reached out to tell us how much joy the video brought them,” Dane's mother, Danna Miller, says.
That's because Dane was born with Down syndrome, and Danna Miller said the video continues to prove how Dane and others will not let that diagnosis slow them down.
In addition to his part-time gig as a talented singer, Dane also plays soccer and basketball. Plus, he's a double-threat performer.
“He's started to dance more and more recently, and when he dances, he really gets into it,” Danna Miller said.
The family has never let the diagnosis define Dane — something they hope the video shows others who may have preconceived notions about children with special needs.
“We've never limited Dane; in fact, we challenge him,” Danna Miller said. “Whatever he's doing, he goes all out, and always has.”
His heartrending rendition of “If I Can't Have You” wasn't his first go-round of carpool karaoke, but there was something special about this one.
Dane has been singing Houston lyrics for weeks, practically memorizing every line to her powerful ballads. His father never planned on recording his performance, but when he started singing, his dad wanted to capture his son's exuberance.
“It was such a pure moment of organic joy, and so sweet to experience,” his mother said.
The video was originally just going to be shared among family members, but the same family members said it was “too cute and precious” to not share online.
Danna Miller said the response has been both overwhelming and awesome.
“Overwhelming because of the number of people that have reached out, and awesome because of everything they're saying,” she said.
Mothers and family members of children with special needs have thanked the family for posting the video, and told them that it's brought them more happiness than they've had in a long time.
“One mother said that she doesn't smile much anymore, but the video made her smile,” Miller said. “That's the most important part of all of this — to give people a little joy and encouragement.”
Miller said she also hopes that seeing Dane sing his heart out will help others know that special needs children are capable of anything.
“All of these comments were so encouraging, so we want to make people feel the same way,” she said.
That's why they launched “Amazing Dane,” a YouTube channel dedicated solely to song and dance performances by the one and only Dane Miller. The content will be entirely organic, so even Dane doesn't know what's next. However, whatever it is, it should be worth a watch.