It’s been an inspiring season of “America’s Got Talent,” with the judges granting the famed “golden buzzer” to a 12-year old ukulele prodigy, a cancer survivor, and a charismatic pizza delivery boy. But 14-year-old Jayna Brown is the most recent contestant to join the select few golden contestants, and her talent and story are nothing short of incredible.
Brown stunned the judges with a soulful rendition of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” that is easily comparable to the sound of Jennifer Hudson. Still, it’s Brown’s story that is even more awe-inspiring.
“Right now, finances are a real struggle for me and my mom,” said a tearful Brown, adding that she and her mother are currently homeless. “That’s why I’m trying to do everything I can to pay her back.”
Brown took the stage visibly shaking with nerves, especially because One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson was a guest judge for the night. She could only muster a shy hello when Howie Mandel asked her if she wanted to say anything to Tomlinson, but any weakness in her voice ended the second she started singing.
Tomlinson called her performance “infectious” and teasingly held his hand over the golden buzzer before slamming it down. Brown’s mother was brought to her knees as gold confetti poured down on her daughter, who embraced Tomlinson before running to find her mom in the audience.
“That voice, for a 14-year-old, such a gorgeous recording voice. You should be very excited, very excited,” said Tomlinson, who knows a thing or two about talent-seeking shows after being discovered on Britain’s “The X Factor.”
“You, young lady, have just turned this competition upside down,” said notoriously harsh judge Simon Cowell.
Don’t miss the live shows beginning on July 26 to watch this season’s incredible acts battle it out for the grand prize.
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