America’s Got Talent has discovered and curated many budding musicians within the United States since 2006. However, the show’s latest star is a teenager from Britain, Courtney Hadwin.


Hadwin, a 13-year-old from County Durham, took the stage on Tuesday night, shyly introducing herself to the show’s five personalities. Spice Girl alumni Mel B attempted to assure Hadwin, who admitted she was nervous.

She then began her performance of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle,” a song about a man smitten with a woman that somewhat amusingly juxtaposed the timid presence she had mere moments ago. Between her lively dance moves and her bold voice, everyone in attendance — both the audience and the four judges — were awestruck, earning her a standing ovation.

Simon Cowell likened her to a “shiny thing” when she first walked on stage, noting she turned into a “lion” once she began her act. Howie Mandel echoed Cowell’s sentiments, expressing his belief that Hadwin was “not from this era,” comparing her to Janis Joplin. Mandel subsequently awarded her his Golden Buzzer, an act that directly assures her a spot in the quarter finals. Hadwin was overjoyed, later tweeting how it “was more than I ever could have dreamed of.”

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