MANILA, Philippines - A blind and autistic young singer earned a Golden Buzzer in "America's Got Talent" after inspiring judges and audiences with a rendition of Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You."
Kodi Lee, 22, was accompanied on Wednesday to the stage by his mother Tina who explained his condition to the judges.
"Kodi is blind and autistic. We found out that he loved music really early on. He listened and his eyes just went huge. And he started singing, and that's when I was in tears, because that's when I realised, 'Oh my gosh! He is an entertainer,'" Tina said.
"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 has actually saved his life, playing music," she added.
Kodi then sat on the piano and received a small pep talk from his mom before performing.
The performance not only received applause from the audiences, but also a standing ovation from judges Gabrielle Union, Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough and Howie Mandel.
"First of all I will tell you that all four judges and everybody in this room were up on their feet. You were wonderful. Not only do we feel the authenticity of what you do but you're a great inspiration and a great talent and it was amazing," Mandel told Kodi.
Hough, who was wiping her tears, was also all praises for Kodi saying, "I know everybody needs a voice and an expression and I really feel your heart, your passion. Your voice blew all of us away."
"I'm a new judge this season and I'm also a new mom this year and it's the toughest job I've ever had and the most rewarding job I've ever had. You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars and the rainbows," Union said.
"Tonight, I'm going to give you something special," she added, as she pressed the Golden Buzzer which advances Kodi straight to the live finals in Hollywood.