With her crystal-clear voice, Mandy Harvey, of Cincinnati, Ohio, gained accolades on the 12th season of America’s Got Talent and earned herself the “golden buzzer” from judge Simon Cowell. You wouldn’t know it to hear her, but she’s deaf, and she quite literally sings by “feeling” the music.
Mandy Harvey lost her hearing as a result of a connective tissue disorder when she was 18. However, she hasn’t let her hearing loss stand in the way of her dream to be a singer. She made it through to the top ten contestants on AGT in 2017, winning the fourth place.
Home and working on music for the next couple days before going back out on the road! Look out TX and NY!!! @citywinerynyc check out all the upcoming dates on www.mandyharveymusic.com 🤟
During the audition, Harvey subdued and captured the crowd and judges’ hearts in a sweet original song simply called Try with just her crystal-clear voice, a ukulele, and almost no backup.
That was more than sufficient in order to move judge Simon and garner his golden buzzer vote (as shown in the video down below). Simon pressed his golden buzzer and sent Harvey straight to the Quarterfinals.
“I went onto the stage with no expectations,” the humble Harvey told Forbes in 2018, alluding to the audition. “I didn’t think I was going to get the golden buzzer. I just wanted to show up and prove to myself that I could stand on that stage. I wanted to encourage people around me to evaluate their lives and see where they are holding themselves back. I wanted them to dream again.”
“For the golden buzzer to come from Simon [Cowell] meant a lot. He didn’t talk about my story. He didn’t talk about my situation. Yes, it’s a part of me and who I am, but it’s not the entirety of who I am,” she continued. “At the core, I’m a musician. I want people to value that part of me. He [Cowell] was judging my tone, my songwriting and pitch.”
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Harvey nevertheless had to triumph over her loss of hearing to make it to where she had, however. “After I lost my hearing, I gave up,” Harvey told the judges just before she sang Try. “But I want to do more with my life than just give up.”
“I didn’t understand that my life would be beautiful again, I just felt the loss,” Harvey shared in a video for AGT.
“I didn’t wake up one day and just couldn’t hear. I woke up one day and realized I was having difficulty, and that I had overcompensated by lip reading, so that I didn’t really understand how bad it was.”
She had set about learning how to sing again using “visual tuners” and feeling vibrations of instruments through her feet no less.
Apart from her beautiful voice, one may notice how Harvey always performs barefoot on stage. When the judges asked her why she was on stage with bare feet, she told them that she “feels” the tempo through her feet.
“[It’s] so you can feel things better when you’re standing on the stage,” Harvey said. “You can feel the drums, and you can feel the bass.
“So, being able to feel the music through the floor, it makes me feel like I’m a part of the band and not just the only person in the room who doesn’t really understand what’s going on,” she added.
“I was told for such a long time that you had to have hearing to enjoy music. But I’ve found that music was meant to be felt. Feeling everything move—feeling the song through the floor, feeling my voice.”
Playing tonight @ Townsend Center Carrollton! pic.twitter.com/5JV2deJl6t
— Mandy Harvey (@mandyharvey) April 23, 2019
And after her performance singing an original song, “This Time,” Harvey told host Tyra Banks: “There’s really not much you can do if you stay on the ground. Time will pass you by, life will pass you by. I just didn’t want to give up.”
Harvey is a winner in more ways than one and an inspiration to many.
Watch Mandy Harvey’s amazing “Golden Buzzer” moment in the video: