Mandy Harvey lost all her hearing when she was 18 years old, due to a connective tissue disorder that deteriorated her hearing nerves. But she didn’t let her physical impairment hold her back from pursuing her dream of becoming a singer.
On Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent, Harvey, now 29, opened up about her deafness, how she left music when she lost her hearing and her journey back to her passion.
To sing, she trusts her pitch and uses muscle memory and visual turners as cues. The singer explained all this with help of her interpreter, Sarah, while standing barefoot on the stage. That’s key to her performances, so that she can feel the tempo and beat through the floor.
Harvey played her ukulele and sang her original song, “Try” during the emotional America’s Got Talent performance. Harvey wrote the song to remind herself to continue to follow her dreams.
“After I lost my hearing I gave up, but I want to do more with my life than just give up,” she said to the judges.
Her words, inspirational tune and honesty brought judges Simon Cowell, Melanie “Mel B” Brown, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel to their feet, and brought much of the crowd to tears. She also earned Cowell’s coveted Golden Buzzer, which puts her directly through to the upcoming live rounds of the hit NBC talent competition.
Harvey’s tune and story are already going viral on social media, with people calling her inspirational.
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) June 7, 2017
— Emily Lee (@EmilyHLee) June 7, 2017
— seanforbes (@seanforbes) June 7, 2017
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