Kodi Lee is the official winner of 2019’s “America’s Got Talent.” The 22-year-old singer and piano player from Lake Elsinore, California, who is blind and has autism, immediately captivated both the audience and the judges with his incredible talent.
As the winner of Season 14 of NBC’s iconic entertainment competition show on TV, Lee will receive a $1 million cash prize as well the opportunity to perform in headlining shows at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino from Nov. 7-10.
Lee had a lot of memorable moments throughout the season. Check out four of his best performances from the TV show.
“A Song For You”
Lee got his first chance to wow the judges with his performance of “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway and his rendition did not disappoint. In fact, the moving performance earned him the Golden Buzzer from judge Gabrielle Union. His mom, Tina, accompanied him on stage during his introduction to the judges, and she explained that music has been a passion for her son for nearly his entire life.
“We found out that he loved music really early on,” she said. “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 realized, oh my gosh, he’s an entertainer. Through music, he was able to withstand living in this world. Being autistic, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life, playing music.”
Watch his unforgettable first performance on the show in the clip from YouTube below:
“Lost Without You”
His emotional performance of “Lost Without You” by Freya Ridings caused judge Simon Cowell to close his eyes in awe. At the end, Lee had to join the audience and the judges in giving himself a hand. Watch the clip below:
“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Lee’s powerful rendition of the classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel is sure to bring a tear to your eye. Paul Simon himself gave his blessing for Lee to perform the song on the show. Grab some tissues for this one:
“You Are The Reason”
Lee was joined by three-time Grammy nominee and “X-Factor” winner Leona Lewis for an amazing duet of “You Are The Reason” by Calum Scott. The grand finale performance from earlier this week led Lewis to tell ET after the show that she wanted to record a song with Lee.
“He’s just pure love and light and he just shines,” Lewis said to ET. “Just to see that is amazing and to be around that is amazing.”
Be prepared to be wowed by their effortless harmony.
In addition to his beautiful voice, Lee’s personal story is so compelling and fans were moved by his family’s support of his dreams throughout the “AGT” process. He and his mother are pictured below.
He was born with optic nerve hypoplasia and his life was saved with surgery at five days old. He was diagnosed with autism a short time later.
His website calls him a “prodigious savant,” saying there are fewer than 25 people in the world with his specific talents of musical expression, perfect pitch and an audio photographic memory that allows him to remember music after listening to it just once. On top of that, he has a passion for music.
“Kodi continues to pursue his musical career and his dream is to be a ‘rock star’ performing for thousands of fans,” the website reads. “Any opportunity Kodi has to perform is a good day for him, and the bigger [and] more energetic the audience, the more he loves to shine.”
Lee will perform with other Season 14 finalists the Detroit Youth Choir, Ryan Niemiller, V. Unbeatable Dance Crew and violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa at the Las Vegas show. You can buy tickets through Ticketmaster.
So much musical talent and such beautiful piano playing! We’re looking forward to seeing more from Kodi Lee in the future. Congratulations to this inspiring young man for his well-deserved “AGT” win.