America's Got Talent got a dose of patriotism and heart during Tuesday's new auditions episode.
Singing group Voices of Service, a quartet of army veterans, took the stage during the auditions and sang a heartwarming rendition of Katy Perry's inspirational hymn "Rise" that left both judges and fans at home in awe.
The four talented singers introduced themselves as veteran and active-duty service members before dazzling the judges with their performance.
"We're using this platform to show what music can do as music therapy for service men and women who are coping with post-traumatic stress, and we just love what we do," one of the members said before the performance.
In a segment ahead of the performance, the group explained hw music brought them together after experiences as members of the military in wartime. Voices of Service is affiliated with the Virginia-based Center for American Military Music Opportunities (CAMMO), a group dedicated to creating music performance and career opportunities for military members and veterans, Military.com writes.
"Every day of your life that you spent there, yo had to make it your best because one day you could be having lunch with one of you battle buddies and the next they could be gone, so those thoughts ring through all of our minds," one of the members shared during the clip.
"We would sit around and start singing, and that would help us get over that we went through that day. You know, just bring a sense of hope to the lost that we dealt with.... the bond of music got us through it all."
Another member added, holding back tears: "To have this opportunity, it reminds you what a great country we do live in... And it's for those people, for those men and women, who have given the ultimate sacrifice, that I stand on the stage and sing tonight."
The special arrangement of Perry's hit song left the judges and audience members in tears, receiving a standing ovation from all of them.
Following the airing of the audition, judge Howie Mandel shared a short clip of the performance and thanked the members for their service.
"I can't thank you enough for your service. Because you do what you do, it allows us to do what we do. This is beautiful, and important, and right. Thank you," he wrote on Twitter.
Gabrielle Union was blown away by the performance, saying: "What you guys are doing. The song, your voices, your ability, I can't thank you enough for all of it. Thank you."0comments
The breath-taking performance got four yeses from the judges as they go on to the next round of competition, though some fans wondered why the performance did not receive an esteemed Golden Buzzer.