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European Sensation Ana Free Chooses the Magic City For U.S. Debut

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    Free makes US debut

    If you're a burgeoning European acoustic pop star who's already amassed a gargantuan web cult following where do you make your US debut?

    Miami, of course.

    "I figured Miami would be a great first stop given my genre of music and the city's beauty," said Free over the weekend. "I came here as a kid, and it's become one of my favorite cities."

    The Portuguese-born 22-year old artist chose South Beach's Raleigh Hotel, where a contingent of her large cult following anxiously awaited her performance. The performance was one of several those attending South Beach's Food and Wine Festival were treated to.  

    "It's exciting. I'm really glad that I can finally meet some of the fans I have down here," said Free, minutes before hitting the stage.

    Since January 2007, Free who says she ventured into music "as an escape," has become an Internet prodigy of sorts, amassing more than 50,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel with more than 18 million views. Her cover of Nickelback's "Savin Me" has become a fan favorite.

    "The Internet has enabled me to really connect with my fan base on a personal level," said Free. "We're in a complete new era of marketing and promotion."

    Her internet popularity has landed her on MTV Portugal and a European tour, but Free admitted her trip stateside causes jitters.

    "I hear American fans are really crazy. Well, I've been told American fans get really crazy," said Free. "Having said that, I'm expecting a really good vibe."