On Tuesday night’s season premiere of America’s Got Talent, judges were so wowed by 22-year-old singer Kodi Lee, who is blind and has autism, that he received the first golden buzzer of the season after his rendition of “A Song for You.”
Kodi was helped on stage by his mother, Tina Lee, who explained that he “loved music really early on” and that when he listened to music “his eyes just went huge.” Over the years, Tina said music has helped Kodi face many challenges in his life.
“Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world,” Tina explained. “Because when you're autistic, it's really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life, playing music.”
New judge Julianne Hough was brought to tears by his performance.
“I just want to say that I heard you and I felt you and that was beautiful,” Hough stated.
Simon Cowell went on to say, “I’m gonna remember this moment for the rest of my life.”
Fellow rookie judge Gabrielle Union was especially moved by the performance. She explained that the recent birth of her own daughter, Kaavia James, caused her to have a real connection to Kodi’s story and performance.
“You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars and the rainbows,” Union explained. “And tonight, I'm gonna give you ... something special.”
Union decided to give Kodi the first golden buzzer of the season, sending him straight to the live shows.
Twitter exploded with fan reactions to Kodi’s performance.
I know how isolating a disability can be and how trapped it can make you feel at times. I'm so glad this man has found such an incredible way to break free of that and share himself with us. <3 Never underestimate or limit those of us with disabilities!https://t.co/iuN7myhT8N–— Molly Burke (@MollyBOfficial) May 29, 2019
Kodi is off to an amazing start. We can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.
Check out Jenelle Evans is done being ‘attacked’ on ‘Teen Mom 2’:
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle's newsletter.