America’s certainly got talent — this summer, mostly in the form of Kodi Lee. The singer-songwriter beat the other nine finalists (and a whole bunch more before that) to be crowned the 2019 “America’s Got Talent” champion.
The second part of NBC’s two-hour Season 14 finale aired Wednesday night, when Lee was named the winner. The Detroit Youth Choir was the runner-up.
Lee, who is blind and autistic, wowed the judges all season long. During the finale, he teamed up with pop star Leona Lewis, who won “The X Factor U.K.” in 2006.
Other guests performers during the finale included Macklemore, reggaeton star Ozuna, pianist Lang Lang, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Cher.
Magician Shin Lim won the million-dollar prize and a Las Vegas residency last summer.
Watch Lee’s coronation via the video above.
Below are the bios for Summer 2019’s Top 10:
Benicio Bryant: Benicio Bryant is a 14-year-old singer-songwriter from Maple Valley, Wa. His passion for music began before he could even talk. His love of music has allowed him to sing, play drums and guitar all over the world. He sings for audiences both big and small — from family gatherings to a duet with Grammy Award winner, Brandi Carlile on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Bryant continues to follow his dream of writing and producing his own music and is grateful for the platform AGT has given him to showcase his music.
Detroit Youth Choir: The Detroit Youth Concert Choir & Performing Arts Company (D.Y.C) is a non- profit 501 (c) 3 organization that services young people throughout the Metropolitan Detroit area. The program teaches and develops inner-city students through music education, dance and theatrical arts. The program is designed for youth ranging between the ages of 8-18. The organization’s vision is to offer the youth of Metro Detroit a world-class performing art experience that develops their creative skills and talents. This group of young people from different backgrounds has performed throughout the state of Michigan and abroad over its 20+ year existence. Terry’s golden buzzer was a wonderful chance for the students to believe that “dreams do come true.”
Emanne Beasha: Emanne Beasha wowed guest judge Jay Leno and received her golden buzzer for her operatic performance of Caruso. Singing since she was two years old, she has always loved performing on stage. She performed for her first big crowd at age seven, when she sang the National Anthem to a crowd of 10,000 at a spring training baseball game in Port Charlotte, Florida. Soon after, she started learning opera songs from YouTube. Although Beasha loves to sing all types of music, she feels most connected to the operatic arias and loves being able to transfer the passion and emotion of the music to the audience. She hopes one day to be able to bring the beauty of operatic music to the pop music world and create her own songs that she will call ‘POPERA.’
Kodi Lee: Kodi Lee was born with optic nerve hypoplasia which rendered him legally blind and at an early age, he was diagnosed with autism. Kodi also suffers from Addison’s Disease, which is a life-threatening disorder that can be fatal if not monitored at all times. He is also known as a musical prodigious savant. One of only approximately 25 in the world today who possess his extraordinary abilities. Throughout his challenging life, the one thing that stayed a constant and literally saved his life – was his connection to music and amazing ability to retain, understand and express himself through music. He taught himself to play the piano and sings with pure emotion and skill. He has been performing across the globe for many years. He currently performs locally at a variety of venues including local restaurants, wineries, and music events all around town. Recently, he was invited to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City. His musical repertoire ranges from rock to jazz, to R & B and pop and he has mastered classics such as Bach, Chopin, Mozart and others. He recently picked up tap dancing and he is one of only a few that can tap dance and sing simultaneously. Kodi’s story is one of overcoming life-challenging obstacles with inspirational determination, indomitable spirit and the will to succeed. All the while, his goal in life is to share his music with the world and to make people happy!
Light Balance Kids: Light Balance Kids was formed in late 2018 and consists of 13 dancers aged 11 to 14 from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. The “junior sequel” to their Golden Buzzer mentors, Light Balance Kids are hi-tech performers, dancing in the dark with their moves synchronized with programmed cues of EL and LED lights integrated into their costumes.
Ndlovu Youth Choir: Since its inception in 2009, the Ndlovu Youth Choir from rural Limpopo, South Africa has demonstrated the potential of any human being to achieve excellence no matter their background, education or place of birth. From its humble beginnings as an after-school activity, the choir has evolved into a truly outstanding professional ensemble. The Ndlovu Youth Choir forms part of the Ndlovu Care Group’s globally acclaimed childcare community program. The choir offers an early pathway to artistic and professional achievement that is so often only available to children from affluent backgrounds, but it also creates a platform for them to share their talents with the world. It’s a profound gift in both directions and one which the singers themselves say fills them with hope: for a better life and a better world.
Ryan Niemiller: Ryan Niemiller realized from a young age the power of comedy. Being born with a limb difference in his arms, he learned that if he made the joke first, he could control the conversation. After graduating with a degree in Theater from Indiana State University, Ryan moved to Los Angeles to take his ability to make people laugh and try to turn it into a career. After 12 incredibly short and not even remotely strenuous years, he is now officially “The Cripple Threat” of Comedy. Ryan’s primary goal is to make you laugh, but he also wants to serve as a voice for other individuals with limb difference and show that even though the road might be more difficult, anything is possible. Finally, Ryan wants to let you know you’re all invited to become official members of Club Nubb.
Tyler Butler-Figueroa: At the age of 4 ½, Tyler Butler-Figueroa was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A. L. L.). He was given a sentence of 3 years of chemotherapy, during which he was not allowed to have any rough physical contact because of the chemotherapy catheter. Instead of playing basketball, football or soccer like the other boys his age, Butler-Figueroa was fighting for his life, taking several medicines, staying days in the hospital, receiving a blood transfusion and trying to eat food without bringing it back up. He wanted a way to express himself and escape the teasing and bullying so he signed up for violin lessons at his school, learning the basics to read music and play the violin. Butler-Figueroa kept advancing to the higher levels in violin class and wanted to get more technical training than the class offered so he left the program and began teaching himself by learning new advanced techniques from the internet. Butler-Figueroa and his mom created a YouTube channel and he began performing covers of songs. He also began to play at some local events and began street performing to save money for more musical equipment. When Butler-Figueroa saw last season’s contestant, Brian King Joseph, he knew he had to try and make it onto the show. He began saving money to make the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to audition for “America’s Got Talent” and the rest is history. After this season with AGT, he would like to write a children’s book about his journey with cancer and the violin. Butler-Figueroa wants to be an inspiration for anyone going through a life-altering disease like cancer and let them know to stay strong and don’t give up! Butler-Figueroa has already “won” because he is now cancer-free and 4 years in remission.
Unbeatable: This India-based dance group began in 2012, founded by Vikas and Om Prakash. Tragically, Vikas passed away in 2014 after an injury and the group has carried on, motivated in part by Vikas’ dream to compete in a big reality show. After many rejections from “India’s Got Talent,” they formed a “mega crew” with 35 members and were finally accepted to the show in season four. Following their appearance on IGT, they became excited to audition for “America’s Got Talent,” and are now fulfilling Vikas’ vision. Says the group, “to represent India in ‘America’s Got Talent’ is a very proud moment for us.”
Voices of Service: CAMMO’s Voices of Service consists of veterans and active duty service members – a dynamic and diverse group of musicians and singers with a modern eclectic sound. Voices of Service has performed in support of numerous veteran’s organizations, government agencies, military bases, and corporate functions. The group represents the diversity and excellence that exists within our military and veteran communities and is an inspiring example for the nation that they serve, have served, and continue to serve – now through music.