Singer, 13, earns Howie Mandel's golden buzzer on America's Got Talent

Lewis Collier
June 13, 2018

It was a pleasant surprise when 13-year-old Courtney Hadwin started singing on America's Got Talent Tuesday night.

The 13-year-old appeared nervous when she first took to the stage in this week's show - but those nerves disappeared when she broke into a powerful rendition of Otis' Redding's Hard To Handle - which had all the judges on their feet, and prompted Howie Mandel to hit that magic buzzer.

Before pressing the button, Howie raved about how Courtney's skills are "out of this era" before calling her the next Janis Joplin.

She left with a "Golden Buzzer" pass to the live shows.

In the audition, Courtney initially comes on stage and awkwardly answers judge Mel B's questions.

From the first moment Hadwin began to sing, judge Simon Cowell was absolutely floored, and he had nothing but praise for the fantastic songstress after her performance.

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Hadwin openly wept with joy as the golden confetti rained down from the rafters, and was embraced in a big hug by her proud father, who had been watching his daughter perform from the wings of the stage.

She went on to reach the final of the series in 2017 - but lost out to fellow singer Jess Folley.

"Bloody hell, Courtney! You were this shy little thing when you first came out".

"I'm not Clive Davis, I'm Howie Mandel. The only thing I can do for you, young lady, is..." And then you sing, and you're like a lion. She was a finalist on "The Voice Kids U.K.", Billboard pointed out. "I've never seen anything like that", host Tyra Banks said of her performance.

She has also sung locally in Hartlepool, but America's Got Talent opens up a whole new audience for the schoolgirl. She later tweeted saying it was "more than I ever could have dreamed of".

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