Singer Mandy Harvey lost her hearing 10 years ago, but she refused to let it stop her from pursuing her dream.
Her perseverance led to a shining moment on Tuesday night when she shared her beautiful voice as a contestant on "America's Got Talent," leaving the audience in tears and prompting notoriously difficult judge Simon Cowell to call it one of the best performances he ever witnessed.
"I’ve done this a long time,'' Cowell told Harvey. "That was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and heard."
Judge Howie Mandel was standing and applauding before Harvey was even finished, and Cowell slapped down the coveted "Golden Buzzer" to advance her to the semifinals of the competition.
"Honestly, I never think I’m gonna be surprised or amazed by people, and then you turn up,'' Cowell told her. "Just the fact that you are you, but it was your voice, your tone, the song was beautiful.”
Harvey, 29, performed her original song, "Try," after explaining that she became deaf at 18 years old due to a connective tissue disorder that caused her to gradually lose her hearing as her nerves deteriorated.
She had been singing since she was 4 years old, but initially stopped after losing her hearing. She then decided not to give up on her passion, using muscle memory and visual tuners to help her sing without being able to hear.
Harvey performed her song without shoes so that she could feel the beat and tempo from her backing band through the vibrations in the stage.
"After I lost my hearing, I gave up,'' Harvey said on the show. "I want to do more with my life than just give up."
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