WEST VALLEY CITY — As young Heather Fields of Park City sat patiently with her mother backstage at the USANA Amphitheatre waiting for her hero country superstar Brad Paisley to arrive before his concert, one couldn't help but notice the purple band wrapped around her head.
The reason for the headband soon became clear: When Heather grows up, she wants to be a ninja.
Heather was one of 10 Utah children who won a contest to meet Paisley Saturday night and appear on a giant on-stage video screen during Paisley's encore song, "Welcome to the Future."
"Welcome to the Future," the latest single off Paisley's new album, "American Saturday Night," looks at the changes our country has undergone over the past 50 to 60 years — both within our society as well as how we interact with other countries and cultures. The world has become a much smaller place thanks to technology, and past conflicts, in many cases, have been resolved and turned around into positive progress.
Overall, the song is about hope for a bright future and that children have the ability to achieve their dreams.
The music video for the song was shot in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Tokyo and Kumamoto, Japan.
Ten Utah children, contest winners from local radio stations, had their clips added to Paisley's video during Saturday night's performance.
The children came from as far as West Point, Tooele and Bear River. Trey McEvoy said he wanted to be a scientist. Jae'Sha Hall wants to be a professional motocross racer.
Other children told Paisley they wanted to be a farmer, a teacher, a veterinarian, a biker, a country singer, a rodeo princess and a cheerleader.
In the song, Paisley talks about how black people have achieved equal rights over the past half-century in America. The first time Paisley performed the song live was at the White House on July 21 in front of President Barack Obama as part of first lady Michelle Obama's Music Series for Education.
"It was one of the most emotional experiences I ever had in my life," Paisley told the Deseret News just before his show Saturday. "I had to do everything I could to not break down."
The children were also allowed to ask questions along with the media. One asked Paisley what he wanted to be when he grew up.
"I haven't decided yet," he said with a smile.
Other questions included, "Do you have any cattle?" and "Do you have a mustache?" The most common question, however, was, "Will you sign this?"
"That's the same question she (the last person) had," the personable Paisley said with a smile before signing another young girl's cowgirl hat.
After some pictures and autographs, Paisley said goodbye to get ready for his show.
"Awesome," was how little Gracie Bowen of Taylorsville described the experience.
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