Music Notes

The 'America's Got Talent' Judges Were Not Expecting This Teen's Golden Buzzer Performance

Howie Mandel compared her to Janis Joplin.

Visit Music Notes to let A Plus "note" the new songs, videos, and artists you should be paying attention to, as well as discuss noteworthy performances by veterans and rookies at award and talent shows.

When Courtney Hadwin stepped onto the America's Got Talent stage, she appeared shy and nervous. It's safe to say that the judges weren't quite expecting the performance she went on to give, but the 13-year-old clearly blew them away.

Courtney broke into a fierce performance of "Hard to Handle" by Otis Redding, complete with some unique dance moves. She brought the crowd and the judges to their feet, as Simon Cowell told her, "You were this shy little thing when you first came out, and then you sing and you're like a lion."


Howie Mandel went on to compare Courtney to legendary musician Janis Joplin, sharing the story of her discovery and telling the young singer, "You're not from this era. You're from a whole different era." He then showed how impressed he was by hitting the Golden Buzzer to send her straight into the live rounds.

"You are absolutely amazing," host Tyra Banks told Courtney as she tearfully celebrated her big moment. "I have never seen anything like that."

According to Billboard, Courtney is originally from Hartlepool, England, and was previously a finalist on The Voice Kids U.K. We're excited to see her take America by storm.

Check out the full performance in the video below:


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.