Not many girls get to say they’ve been on tour with Britney Spears, or starred in sitcoms or sang in several hit movie soundtracks like “Parent Trap,” “Pokemon,” “The Wedding Planner,” and “102 Dalmatians.”
That’s just a few of the super cool things about Ali Navarro, aka Twinkle, better known as the Lady Gaga for kids. Once again, the popular entertainer with bright orange hair, glittery eyes, and a sparkly personality to match returns to the Campbell County Fair to entertain kids with her funky and fun song and dance act.
It’s safe to say that Twinkle was born to entertain. Growing up in Los Angeles, she made her first stage debut at age 5 in numerous musical productions, and as a tween was a regular on several popular sitcoms, including the first Spanish family comedy “Sanchez of Bel Air” and NBC’s “My 2 Dads.” From there, she and friends formed the girl-band Nobody’s Angel. In 2002, the girls earned a gold record for two of their songs, which were featured on the “Princess Diaries” soundtrack.
After eight years on the road, the band broke up. That’s when she started teaching kids in southern California and realized how much she loved helping and inspiring kids to learn new things. It was this experience that inspired the next stage of her career as the star of Twinkle Time.
“I loved connecting with the little ones and seeing how excited they got when they learned something,” she said. “It was a lot like improv; you always had to be creative.”
This resonated with the natural performer who relied on her own influences in the forming of her alter-ego. Bubbly and “sparkly” by nature, she channeled the colorful female performers from her own childhood like Cindi Lauper, Madonna, and Gwen Stefani as the persona slowly came together. Putting on an orange wig, tutus, and lots of sparkly bling, Twinkle came to life on stage. With friends, each of whom play different characters, Twinkle Time and her crooked castle by the sea began to take shape.
“There wasn’t a lot of new music out there to draw from,” she said, noting the tired standards, so she decided she was going to write her own as she’s always done it, indi-style. She also incorporates her Peruvian background, as well with many songs in Spanish.
Twinkle Time made its television debut on the FOX LA morning news, which caught the eye of Warner Music, who signed Twinkle to a distribution deal. In November 2009, Twinkle’s debut CD “Twinkle Time” was released. Twinkle released her second CD, “Made in the USA,” in 2012, which won two Global Music Awards for Best Children’s Song. She also caught the attention of celebrity clients such as Gwen Stefani, Will and Jada Smith, Jessica Alba, Carlos Mencia, Hank Azaria, Christina Milian, and others.
And though the fame and celebrity status is nice, what she and the group truly enjoy is traveling to small towns and rural communities throughout the United States, where she gets to interact with kids.
“We believe in making a difference for kids,” she said. “The Campbell County Fair was a blast last year, and we’re super excited to come back. The community was so warm and sweet, and we have a lot of fond memories and are looking forward to making more!”
This year, she’ll be returning with Lil Hoopz and Zeke the Zebra for four days of free entertainment at the Cam-Plex Wyoming Center. Schedule update! Their first performance will be at the Campbell County Library on Wednesday, July 31, at 2 p.m., with their second show at the Cam-Plex at 5 p.m. There will be two shows a day Wednesday through Saturday. Show times are 1 and 3 p.m. each day.
It’s just not for kids, she added, everybody is invited to enjoy the music.
“We’ll have rocking concerts from start to finish,” Twinkle said, noting that no two performances will be the same. “And there will be dance contests!”