When the Detroit Youth Choir took the stage on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” their special performance made history in more ways than one. What was even more shocking than their extraordinary talent was host Terry Crews’ emotional reaction.
Before the group of inner-city children stood before the judges, Crews met them backstage. Upon hearing that the children hailed from Detroit, he informed the group that he grew up in Flint, Michigan, just a few miles northwest of their community. The choir erupted into cheers, and it was clear that Crews and the kids shared an instant connection.
The Detroit Youth Choir is composed of young members of the Detroit community. Choir Director Anthony White explained in a pre-audition interview that the group serves as a safe haven for many of its members.
— Detroit Youth Choir (@DycOfficial) April 18, 2019
“We have a lot of inner-city kids. Some of them have bad home situations or they could be in the streets, there’s violence,” White said. “We give them something positive to come and be a part of.”
With the help of the community choir, the kids are able to turn to music as a way to escape the negativity in their lives.
“Mr. White knows things that Detroit children go through, so he’s able to help us feel safe and fix those things through music or dance,” one of the choir members said.
When the group took to the stage, judge Simon Cowell warned them that choirs generally don’t make it far on “AGT.” However, the performance that followed far surpassed his expectations.
Watch as the Detroit Youth Choir brings the judges to their feet with a powerful rendition of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us.” Make sure to have a box of tissues on hand for the heartwarming ending:
As the performance drew to an end, the choir received a well-deserved standing ovation. The judges expressed their admiration for the group’s outstanding singing and dancing talent.
“You guys came together and created something that was traditional, like a choir, and you took it and went so fresh,” Julianne Hough said. “It was so fun, the choreography, I was up on my feet, I love it.”
The judges were about to vote but were suddenly cut short when Terry Crews emerged from backstage with tears in his eyes.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) June 19, 2019
“Every young man and woman on this stage represents me and where I came from,” Crews said. “I remember sitting at my window in Flint, Michigan, dreaming and wanting to make it, and wanting to be here. And they’re here, and they did so well that I have to do this.”
The speech resonated with the kids onstage, many of whom appeared just as overwhelmed with emotion. Tears were flowing as Crews bounded off the stage and approached the judge’s table to the sound of a roaring crowd.
You give young black men and women a chance, and they give you THIS! Every young man and woman on that stage represents ME and where I came from. All it takes is ONE person to BELIEVE in one woman or man for them to reach their dreams. #GoldenBuzzer @agt pic.twitter.com/5Y33lGL3LW
— terry crews (@terrycrews) June 19, 2019
“Let me tell you something, Mr. White,” Crews said. “All it takes is one person to believe in a young man or woman for them to reach their dreams, and you are that man, sir.”
With that, Crews smashed the Golden Buzzer. The children couldn’t contain their excitement, jumping and cheering as golden confetti poured from the ceiling.
“Detroit Youth Choir, I could not be prouder to be your Golden Buzzer,” Crews said later in an interview with NBC. “I can’t wait to see you again. You are my family now. I can’t wait to see what song you do next because I know you’re gonna blow it out of the water.”
Crews and the Detroit Youth Choir proved to millions watching “AGT” that success isn’t determined by where you’re from. Catch more amazing talent and heartwarming moments on Tuesdays
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