Kodi Lee got the Golden Buzzer from new judge Gabrielle Union on America’s Got Talent on Tuesday sending him straight to the season 14 Hollywood live show.
The bold move during the season premiere earned Kodi a choice spot in the running for the show’s $1 million prize and the opportunity to headline a show in Las Vegas.
It was also a moment that had everyone in tears.
‘I’m happy-nervous,’ the Lake Elsinore, California native said to producers before his performance—a heartfelt rendition of Donny Hathaway’s 1971 hit A Song For You, which he played on piano and sang.
Kodi’s trembling body grew calm and composed as he poured himself completely into the piece.
Tina explained to judges Gabrielle, 46, Simon Cowell, 59, Howie Mandel, 63, and Julianne Hough, 30, that her son was both blind and autistic.
‘We found that he loved music really early on,’ she said. ‘He listened and his eyes just went huge. He started singing, and I was in tears… that’s when I realized, ”He’s an entertainer”.’
As Kodi soulfully delivered the last notes of his emotional performance, the crowd and all four judges rose to their feet to give him a standing ovation.
‘That’s all for you baby,’ his mom told him, leaning in, as the rest of his family laughed and cried with excitement from the side of the stage. ‘It’s all for you.’
The judges were overcome.
‘I know everybody needs a voice and an expression,’ said actress Julianne, a new judge and former two-time champion on Dancing With The Stars. ‘Your passion and your voice blew all of us away. I just want to say I heard you, and I felt you, and that was beautiful.’
‘What just happened there was extraordinary,’ marveled Simon. ‘I’m gonna remember this moment for the rest of my life.’
But no one was more moved than Gabrielle.
‘I’m a new judge this season, and I’m also a new mom this year,’ said the proud parent of Kaavia James Union Wade, born last November.
It was an emotional start to the new season, though far from the only impressive audition the judges saw over the course of several days.
Watch the video below of Kodi Bee performance and Gabrielle Union Golden Buzzer