Julianne Hough Cries During Kodi Lee's 'America's Got Talent' Golden Buzzer Act

Former Dancing With the Stars judge Julianne Hough needed a box of tissues on last night's episode of America's Got Talent, but she wasn't the only one.

Twenty-two-year-old, Kodi Lee, though blind and autistic, wowed the judges with his moving performance on the NBC reality competition. AGT judges Gabrielle Union, Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel and Hough, along with the audience gave Lee a standing ovation after performing Donny Hathaway's hit song "A Song for You."

Hough said she couldn't stop crying and Union was wiping away tears as well.

Lee was escorted on stage by his mom, Tina, who shared his story with the audience and said she knew early on in her son's life that he was an "entertainer" by his love for music.

"We found out that he loved music really early on, he listened and his eyes just went huge and he started singing, and that's when I was just in tears, that's when I realized 'Oh my gosh, he's an entertainer.'"

Tina continued to tell the judges and audience that it was music that saved her son's life.

"Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world," she explained. "Because when you're autistic, it's really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life, playing music."

After Lee's performance the judges couldn't stop complimenting him.

"You were wonderful," Mandel said. "You're a great inspiration and a great talent and it was amazing."

Hough said that the young talent's "beautiful" voice "blew all of us away" as she dried the tears from her eyes.

The former American Idol judge who is notorious for his criticism said, "What just happened there was extraordinary ... Your voice is absolutely fantastic ... Thank you so much for trusting us on this show. I'm gonna remember this moment for the rest of my life."

However, it was Union's statement that put the cherry on top.

She started by explaining, "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."

"You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars and the rainbows," she continued. "And tonight, I'm gonna give you something special."


The actress brought her statement to life by slamming down the golden buzzer — which is the first of the 2019 season — that will advance Lee straight to the finals!

America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m ET on NBC.