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At 17, her voice blew people away. Now 94, she's living her dreams of stardom

Madeline Forman said that finding the decades-old vinyl records was like finding "gems."
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/ Source: TODAY

It's never too late to chase your dreams — just ask Madeline Forman, who reached her goal of music stardom at the age of 94, some 75 years after she first started performing.

Forman told TODAY that in the 1940s and 1950s, she made vinyl records of herself singing. While she'd enjoyed singing and had even won a talent contest despite having no formal training, she knew that she wasn't able to pursue performing as a career.

"I knew at the time it was not in the works for me," Forman said. "We were poor, so I did what I had to. I put music in the background and that's the way it was."

Forman put away the records, and they stayed untouched until she came upon them last year while cleaning her house, which had just been sold.

"I said, 'Oh my goodness, what do I have here?'" Forman recalled. "I took it out to look at it. ... I couldn't believe it. I hadn't seen these in years and years."

Forman managed to find a record player so that she could listen to the recordings again. She passed them on to a relative in the music industry, who was blown away by her vocal talent. That relative arranged for Forman to come to the Shorefire Recording Studio in Long Branch, New Jersey, where she re-recorded the song "Don't Take Your Love From Me."

"I can still sing that song well," Forman said. "I sing well and smile."

Forman isn't the only person to have made a mark with that particular song. Music legends like Frank Sinatra, Etta James and Bing Crosby have all performed the number.

"What a class I'm in, right?" Forman joked.

In addition to "Don't Take Your Love From Me," several other of Forman's recordings have been remastered and shared online, where they've been hits. A documentary has also been made about Forman.

"It's amazing," she said. "It's so much attention. I could never, ever imagined it. ... Music is music. It never leaves you, right? It's always there."

Forman said she hopes her story inspires others to keep pursuing their passions, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

"Never give up," Forman said. "If you love something, stick with it. Dreams do come true."