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Bullied teen wows 'America's Got Talent' judges with soulful performance

See which judge hit the prized golden buzzer and left the 15-year-old crying with joy.
by Randee Dawn / / Source: TODAY

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Amanda Mena had a powerful back story to share with judges on "America's Got Talent" Tuesday night.

But it was her equally-powerful voice that earned her a fast-track ticket to the live shows!

Fifteen-year-old Mena, who explained she had been bullied in school, belted out Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

Her strong voice had everyone cheering, and judges searching for words.

"Where do I start? That was just incredible," said Mel B. "I got goose pimples all over."

As if that wasn't enough, the former Spice Girls singer had something else to add. "This is what I'm going to say to all those bullies," she said, as she pressed the golden buzzer, which sent Mena straight to the show's live competition!

(A judge can only press that buzzer once every season.)

Mena's history gave the early victory even more meaning. As she explained, she'd been raised in the Dominican Republic, then moved to Boston as a child. While in school, kids bullied her for not knowing English, but she said "music and my mom" got her through the tough times.

"Do you know what you have, Amanda?" Simon Cowell asked, then answered, "You have genuinely natural soul. You really, really do. I mean, that's not an easy song to sing. This is an audition we're going to remember for a long time, Amanda."

We can't wait to see how she does in the upcoming live shows!

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.

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