Atlanta saxophone player Avery Dixon touched the hearts of the audience and judges alike on Tuesday’s America’s Got Talent with his story of being bullied while growing up for physical ailments out of his control. Dixon admitted that the bullying took him to a very dark place.
“At the time I picked up the saxophone, I was getting bullied in elementary school,” Dixon said. Asked what for, he replied, “Well, my voice sounds a little bit different, and I looked a little bit different, too. And my elementary school nickname was hammerhead because I had these knots on my head because I’m premature. I was born at one pound eight ounces. And my vocal cords don’t close all the way, so it made my voice sound really airy. Students were so negative about my voice. One called me frog, and she’d get the class in on the joke. It was relentless. I was so — in such a dark place, I actually wanted to commit suicide.”
Dixon found solace in playing the saxophone, but he had issues with that even at home. He said that if he wins AGT, the first thing he’ll do is find a new place to live because a neighbor called the cops on him for practicing.
“I can’t exactly practice where I live now,” Dixon said. “Somebody had called the cops on me before I flew out. I wanted to practice because doing a show as big as this, I wanted to get everything perfect. So they had called the cops. The cops came banging on the door. They were like, ‘You gotta be quiet.’”
I really like Avery. Always loved the sax. Who the hell calls the cops on a kid practicing their instrument. geez. This kid can move next to me and play as much as he wants. ❤️#AGT
— Joanna (@JoannaF31894705) June 1, 2022
Speaking to the judges, Dixon came off as a bit shy, but he came alive once he started playing, and was anything but quiet.
And viewers at home immediately took to Twitter to share their love of Dixon and his performance.
— Felicia Fiacco (@FeliciaFiacco) June 1, 2022
— John Clark (@johnrclark12) June 1, 2022
The judges and the audience were blown away, but before the judges could even vote, Terry Crews took it upon himself to see that Dixon would get a free ride to the live shows.
After Simon Cowell said he was giving Dixon his first yes vote, Crews walked off the stage saying, “There’s no need to vote.” A tearful Dixon watched as Crews stepped behind the judges table.
“You’ve been bullied all your life, but you tell every bully that you have a big brother named Terry Crews who is here, who’s got your back,” Crews said. “And all those bullies are gonna have to watch you succeed, my friend.”
Crews then hit the Golden Buzzer.
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