By: Bill Schammert
Born and raised in Seward, Neb., Amy Heidemann is one-half of the pop duo Karmin. She's also a fourth generation Nebraskan.
Tuesday, she was honored for her heritage at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice.
"Crazy to think it's a legacy, I mean, I feel like I've just started in the music industry," Heidemann said.
That is true.
Her and her fiance, Nick Noonan, gained popularity as Karmin two years ago after posting a cover of a Chris Brown song on YouTube.
Millions of hits later, they've made the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 with their song "Brokenhearted," rocked the stage of Saturday Night Live and graced the cover of Rolling Stone.
Still, she never forgets her Nebraska roots.
Megan Kophamer, Amy's sister, did some digging last year and with the help of the Homestead National Monument, traced their families footsteps.
"Our ancestors came over from Germany, and they were farmers there, so they wanted to continue that here in the U.S. The Homestead Act allowed them some free land."
Blake Bell is a historian with the Homestead National Monument Education Center. He says it's rare to find a fourth generation family still in Nebraska.
"Forty-five percent of the state of Nebraska was distributed to homesteaders, that was 104,000 people," Bell said. "So, they left behind a legacy that is still alive and vibrant today."
Now, a banner carrying her name, and her legacy will always hang at the Homestead National Monument.
Even though Heidemann lives in Los Angles now, she says she's always proud to call Nebraska home.
"Being a Nebraskan, it's Cornhusker games, parties at my house every week. Going to a school where you know everyone's name, show choir, musical theatre, and the whole community coming together to support your dream."