Blind singer Kodi Lee has been announced as the winner of America’s Got Talent season 14 after an epic finale show that saw music legend Cher put on a devastatingly fabulous performance.
After wowing show judge Gabrielle Union with his very first audition and earning a gold buzzer through to the quarterfinals, the Kodi has bought the judges, including Simon Cowell, to tears with his incredible performances throughout the series.
But who is the America’s Got Talent 2019 winner who became a viral internet hit after that jaw-dropping first audition?
Who is America’s Got Talent 2019 winner Kodi Lee?
Kodi Lee is a 22-year-old from Southern California who was previously unknown to the public before he found worldwide fame thanks to his first America’s Got Talent performance which has amassed an impressive 46 million views on YouTube.
After watching his first performance, a staggered Simon said: ‘Thank you so much for trusting us on this show. I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life.’
Kodi, who is blind, was born with a condition called optic nerve hypoplasia and survived life-saving surgery when he was just five days old. He was later diagnosed with autism at the age of four.
Kodi is also a musical prodigious savant who has an audio photographic memory, meaning he can recall music he hears after listening to it just once.
‘We found out that he loved music really early on – he listened and his eyes went huge. He started singing, and I was in tears, because that’s when I realised he’s an entertainer,’ his mum Tina said on America’s Got Talent.
‘Through music and performing he was able to withstand living in this world, because when you’re autistic it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life, playing music.’
After becoming a star on the show, musical legend Paul Simon gave permission for the American singing sensation to perform his hit Bridge Over Troubled Water in the quarter-finals – something which Simon highlighted was incredibly rare and a testament to Kodi’s talent.
‘I want to thank Paul Simon, who never really gives permission for anyone to sing this song,’ Simon told Kodi after his rendition.
‘It’s very precious to him, and he gave [Kodi] clearance within 30 minutes because he saw your audition.’
Kodi’s last performance on the show was an amazing rendition of You Are The Reason by Calum Scott.
The young star was crowned the winner of AGT on September 19, beating Detroit Youth Choir, comedian Ryan Niemiller, dance troupe V Unbeatable and singers Voices Of Service to win the $1m (£800,000) prize money.
He has also landed his own Las Vegas show at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino which will kick off in November.
Where can you watch America’s Got Talent in the UK?
The show is being aired by Netflix UK and you can also watch Kodi’s performances both on and off AGT on his YouTube channel.
by – metro.co.uk