Over the years, America’s Got Talent has graced our screens with a number of electrifying moments, from sensational acts to mind-blowing musical numbers. But there’s nothing more exhilarating than when a contestant gets the coveted Golden Buzzer. Usually, the honor is only reserved for those auditioning to be on the show. But in a heartwarming segment from AGT’s most recent season, 11-year-old Madison Taylor Baez was plucked from the audience and managed to wow the judges with her incredible vocal skills—so much so that they invited her to come on stage. And against all odds, her encore performance led to more than she ever could have expected.
It was always a dream for Baez to appear on the stage at America’s Got Talent. She began attending show tapings at just 4 years old! For years, she attempted to sing during the commercial breaks and her wish finally came true. Although she had planned to audition this year, the producers instead placed her in the audience as a sneaky surprise for the judges. And as soon as the young girl got her hands on a mic, she instantly blew everyone away with her powerful vocals as she sang Amazing Grace.
Everyone was visibly shocked because no one expected the 11-year-old girl to be such a powerhouse. As the crowd jumped to their feet in a standing ovation, each one of the judges spun around in their chairs to locate the source of such mind-blowing talent. And notoriously picky judge Simon Cowell, who had gone backstage during the break for a coffee, immediately ran back into the room to see what all the commotion was about.
“We do ask people in the breaks if they’d like to sing a song and I was literally just coming back in and I heard this voice, thinking, ‘Who the hell is that?’ And then I see this little thing in the audience and it’s you,” Cowell told Baez after inviting her onstage to sing again, this time in an official audition.
Without a backtrack, Baez belted out the classic once more, even going on to the second verse as the judges and audience clamored for more. “I’m not kidding,” Cowell continued, showering the girl with praise. “In all the years we’ve ever done this, this has never actually happened before. I mean, I normally leave during the break because people do sing, so this is actually the opposite. It actually brought me back into the room.”
Judge Howie Mandel then asked the 11-year-old what she planned to do if she managed to go all the way and win the $1 million grand prize. Her answer was more touching than even her outstanding performance. “I would help my dad with cancer research,” Baez responded through stunned tears. “He's had stage four colon cancer for the past nine years.”
Of course, by then there was no question about which way this audition was going to go. The audience jumped to their feet, repeatedly chanting “Golden Buzzer” as the judges prepared themselves to take a vote. In the end, no vote was necessary. Mandel took no time in rewarding the audience’s request as he stood and brought both hands down on the special buzzer, showering Baez in the signature gold confetti.
Many members of the audience were brought to tears, along with Baez, as they invited the girl’s father to join her onstage. He had come to show his support for his talented daughter as she made her dreams come true, but as he spoke to the judges, he revealed another piece to the story. “I've been battling cancer for the last nine years, and that's how she learned to sing,” her father, Chris, told the audience. “She would sing to me at the hospital throughout all my surgeries, through all my chemo treatments. She would sing to me and helping me get better, and I'm doing very well.”
So it seems young Baez literally has the voice of an angel, and there’s no doubt that her Golden Buzzer was well deserved. Now, the next step is to see just how far her dreams will take her. And judging by her incredible audition, it will probably be pretty far.