Matt Mauser Delivers Moving AGT Audition After Losing Wife in Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant

"When she left that day, she kissed me, and she said, 'I love you,'' Matt Mauser recalled of his final moments with his wife, Christina, before her passing in January 2020.

By Alyssa Morin Jul 07, 2021 2:27 AMTags
Watch: Remembering Kobe Bryant's Journey: E! News Rewind

Matt Mauser gave more than just talent on the most recent episode of America's Got Talent.

On Tuesday, July 6, the 51-year-old musician tugged everyone's heartstrings after opening up about his late wife, Christina Mauser—who tragically passed away in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant and several others in January 2020.

Before performing a cover of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds," Matt opened up about his wife's untimely death to judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofía Vergara and Howie Mandel.

"I'm a singer. And I'm here because my wife and I...we were both schoolteachers, and we retired from teaching so that I could do the music full-time," he shared. "And she got the opportunity to coach girls' basketball with Kobe Bryant. But on January 26th of 2020, I lost my wife in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant."

Christina coached basketball at the 41-year-old legend's Mamba Sports Academy.

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Kobe Bryant: Life in Photos

During a pre-taped package, Matt shared more insight into his relationship with Christina and their life with three kids.

"Before January 26th, me and Christina lived this dreamy kind of life," Matt began. "We met in 2004. She came and saw me playing at this dive bar, and I asked her out, and we sat in my car and we talked about music."

He continued, "She was just this very humble, powerful, beautiful human being. My mom said, 'If you don't marry that girl, you're stupid.' We were married for 15 years. We had three beautiful children."

Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

"When she left that day, she kissed me and she said, 'I love you,'' Matt teared up as he recalled his final moments with his wife. "And that was the last thing my wife ever said to me. Your whole life changes in a second."

"There was pain," he admitted, adding, "My focus immediately went to my children. You start to say, 'All right, she would want me to carry on.' She would want our kids to have happy lives, which I don't know it's possible, But I'm gonna try. You know, if I had it my way, I would have my wife, and I would be supporting her. But that's not what happened. You know, it's been a rough year. But...here I am."

The star's children were present for his audition and cheered him on as he hit the stage. Following his moving performance, Matt shared an important message with his family.

"I would like to make sure that my children see that, in spite of the grief that we've been through this year and that grief is not gonna define who we are as a family and that my children see that you have to find joy in life and you have to continue," he said. "And if this can anyway help my children to chase their dreams, then I'll take it."

Matt advanced to the next round, with all of the judges giving him yesses. After hearing the news, he expressed, "When I was out there tonight, I was singing to her. And I wanted to make her proud, so I think I did that. I felt her in my heart, which was nice. I felt her."

Watch Matt's audition in the video above.

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