When the world first heard Kodi Lee sing during his audition for “America’s Got Talent,” no one could believe that this incredible voice belonged to a man who is both blind and autistic.
Judges were moved to tears after hearing Kodi sang a passionate version of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” and all four couldn’t wait to move him on to the next round of the competition. As Kodi took the stage for a second time we wondered if his first performance was just a fluke, but those concerns were instantly laid to rest the moment he started to sing.
Kodi’s mom and caretaker Tina Lee knelt next to her son before he began, giving him a few words of encouragement before moving off stage to stand with host Terry Crews. As Kodi began to play “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel the crowd was already chanting his name to encourage the blind man to give it everything he had!
Kodi’s voice was strong and soulful as he sang the well-loved lyrics, rising to the perfect pitch and hitting that high note as if it was nothing. He also accompanied his singing on the piano. Throughout the performance the audience continued to cheer for their hero far more than we’ve ever heard a crowd cheer for other contestants. There’s just something about Kodi’s story that has everyone rooting for him.
When he’d finished the judges were visibly moved for a second time. Her voice cracking with emotion, Gabrielle Union could barely contain her tears as she told him, “You change the world and you keep changing the world. Who you are and what you stand for and what you continue to do makes the world so much more of a beautiful place. And we have to stop putting limits on our children and we have to keep believing in each other.”
Simon Cowell, usually the most reserved judge on the panel, didn’t hold back with his praise either. “You continually amaze me,” said Simon. “We are nothing without people like you, and furthermore we are nothing without our audience who so generously share your clips.”
Perhaps even more amazingly, Simon went on to gush that Kodi is, “genuinely one of the most extraordinary people and talents we’ve had the great fortune of having on any show we’ve ever made.” Considering how many shows Simon has been a part of, that’s quite a statement!
Gabrielle and Simon are correct; Kodi’s success truly shows the world that it doesn’t matter what disabilities someone might deal with, if they’ve got talent it will always shine through the hardships! We continue to root for Kodi right along with the AGT audience members who had the privileged of seeing Kodi perform in person.
Watch the amazing performance in the video below, and don’t forget to share.
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