America's Got Talent gave the first Golden Buzzer of the season to an act that brought judges, audience members and viewers to tears.
The NBC talent competition series' newest judge Gabrielle Union awarded the prestigious honor — securing a spot at the live shows — to 22-year-old singer Kodi Lee, who left viewers in awe with his singing chops.
After walking in with his mother, Tina, she revealed her son was blind and autistic and showed passion for music from an early age.
"I realized he's an entertainer. Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world because when you're autistic, it's really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life playing music," Tina told the judges.
Kodi shocked audiences and viewers, and left both Union and new judge Julianne Hough in tears, with his cover of Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You," which he played on the piano.
"I'm a new judge this season and I'm also a new mom this year. It's the toughest job I've ever had and the most rewarding job I've ever had," Union told Kodi and Tina, referring to her daughter Kaavia, who was born via surrogate in November 2018.
"You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars and the rainbows. Tonight, I'm going to give you something special," she added before pushing the Golden Buzzer.
"What just happened there was extraordinary, I mean really extraordinary. I don't know what it's like to live in Kodi's world. All I can tell is you obviously have an amazing relationship the two of you and your voice is absolutely fantastic," Simon Cowell said as the other three judges praised the singer's performance. "You have a really beautiful tone. Thank you so much for trusting us on this show. I'm going to remember this moment for the rest of my life."
Union spoke with PEOPLE after the Season 14 premiere aired and said she hopes all the acts from the show will be able to make an impact like Kodi.
"For me, whoever I'm going to ultimately be rooting for, whether that was my Golden Buzzer or just acts, I want to remember you beyond the day," she said. "There are some acts that are so special that I say, I want to fall in love. Not just with your ability but with you as a person and root for you, care about you."0comments
"To me, that's what makes a superstar. You can't just be talented, the world is filled with just talented people. I got to care about the whole operation," she added.
America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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