See Kodi Lee's America's Got Talent Audition That Left Everyone in Tears, Got Him the Golden Buzzer

The singer is 22 years old, blind and autistic, and his mom said music saved his life

By Chris Harnick May 29, 2019 1:17 PMTags
America's Got Talent, Kodi LeeNBC

And that's how you start America's Got Talent. Kodi Lee, 22, took to the stage with his mom, Tina Lee, and instantly wowed the judges.

Tina explained Kodi is blind and autistic, and his family "found out that he loved music early on."

"He listened and his eyes just went huge and he started singing and that's when I just—I was in tears ‘cause that's when I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, he's an entertainer.' 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 everyone else does. It actually has saved his life, playing music," Tina told judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union.

Tina gave him a pep talk and he was off. The judges were shocked. Hough started crying immediately and the entire theater gave him a standing ovation.

Gabrielle Union & Julianne Hough Ready for "America's Got Talent"

"I know that everybody needs a voice and an expression, and I really feel your heart, your passion. Your voice blew all of us away, so, I just want to say I heard you and I felt you and that was beautiful," Hough said.

Cowell said what happened on stage was "extraordinary."

"I'm going to remember this moment for the rest of my life," Cowell said.

Union said because she's a new judge and a new mom, and she knows how much a mom wants to protect and care for their child, so she pressed the Golden Buzzer, sending him directly to the live shows in Hollywood.

Backstage, Union proclaimed, "You just changed the world."

America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays, 8 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniveral family.)