Mandy Harvey lost all her hearing when she was 18 years old due to a connective tissue disorder, which deteriorated her hearing nerves. But that didn’t stop the musician from pursuing her dream to be a singer.
On Tuesday’s America’s Got Talent, Harvey, 29, opened up about her journey back to music in what was the night’s most inspiring audition.
“I was singing since I was 4,” she explained before her song. “I left music after I lost my hearing and then figured out how to get back into singing with muscle memory, using visual turners and trusting my pitch.”
Performing without her shoes so she could feel the tempo and beat through the floor, Harvey strummed her ukulele to her original song called “Try” — a tune she wrote to remind her to continue to pursue her dreams.
“After I lost my hearing I gave up, but I want to do more with my life than just give up,” she said.
It also earned her the Cowell’s coveted Golden Buzzer, which puts her directly through to the hit NBC talent competition’s upcoming live rounds.
Though her interpreter Sarah was there to help communicate with the judges, Harvey had no problem understanding what the Golden Buzzer meant — breaking down in tears as the crowd cheered (and her father met her for a warm hug).
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“That was incredible,” Cowell told her afterwards. “I’ve done this a long time, that was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and heard.”
“Honestly, I never think I’m going to be surprised or amazed by people. And then you turn up,” he added. “Just the fact that you are you. But it was your voice, your tone, the song was beautiful — congratulations, you are straight through to the live shows.”
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.