Dad with 6 Children Earns Golden Buzzer from Simon on 'AGT' with Bee Gees Song


After Howie Mandel pressed the coveted Golden Buzzer for jaw-dropping 13-year-old singer Courtney Hadwin, the bar was set pretty high for the next Golden Buzzer pick on this season of “America’s Got Talent.”

But Simon Cowell didn’t disappoint when he pressed it for Michael Ketterer after he sang “To Love Somebody” by the Bee Gees.

After his performance, Cowell said, “When we find singers on these shows, is it about being technical? Or is it about being relevant? Sometimes, for me, it’s just about being real and a surprise. If I’m being honest with you—because you were so nervous—I was concerned for you. But I think sometimes, actions speak louder than words…”

Not only did Ketterer’s voice surprise the judges and audience, but his “why” is truly inspiring.

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The Orange County, California, resident is a worship pastor, pediatric mental health nurse, and dad of 6 precious children–five of whom are adopted.

“My family’s my reason why I’m here,” he explained. “My wife and my six children.”

After he almost lost both his wife and daughter to his wife’s first pregnancy, doctors told them that if she became pregnant again, it would be even more of a risk.

For seven years, they lived happily as a family of three until their daughter, Sophia, began to have a series of dreams. In her dreams, there were three brothers who needed to be adopted.

“It took my daughter three years to convince us to adopt. After we went through the process of getting certified to adopt, our very first call that we got (was) for three little boys. I promise I’m not making this up,” he said.

These three boys had come out of a rough home life. One of the boys was so hungry in his previous living situation that he was eating gravel to fill up his tiny stomach.

They later adopted two more little boys, one of whom has cerebral palsy.

Ketterer absolutely surprised the judges with the performance he dedicated to his family. They only had praises to give.

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Howie Mandel said, “I feel like when I watch you and listen to you, I just want to be, you know, a fraction of the human being that I believe that you are. You’re a great performer, and you’re a star human being.”

After hugging Ketterer, Cowell reaffirmed what he said before pressing the Golden Buzzer, “Let me tell you, something about your voice — I genuinely mean this — is special, and everything was perfect. You deserve it. I really mean that.”

Ketterer decided to audition to inspire his kids to chase their dreams, and he is definitely someone who deserves the chance to succeed.

“You know, one of the things that happens, especially because my children came out of foster care, when you’re surviving, you can’t dream. And that has been one of the most rewarding things is providing them with a home and safe environment where they are free to dream,” Ketterer said.

“And so I’m here because I want to show them that if their dad can live out his dreams then nothing is impossible for them.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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