Kodi Lee is blind and has autism, and his America's Got Talent performance will blow you away.

When Kodi Lee walked onto the stage and introduced himself, his disabilities were clearly visible.

Kodi Lee, 22, used a cane to help him navigate the America's Got Talent stage as he held onto his mother's arm. He told the judges his name and age, and his mother, Tina, explained that he is blind and has autism.


Kodi connected with music in early childhood, Tina said. "He listened, and his eyes just went huge, and he started singing," she told the judges. "I realized he's an entertainer. Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world, because when you're autistic, it's really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually saved his life playing music."

His mother escorted him to the piano and quietly told him, "This is your time, okay? There's going to be like 20 cameras on you. Ready?"

Kodi replied with an enthusiastic, "Yeahhhh!"

Tina whispered, "Go! Boom!"

Boom indeed. When Kodi began playing the piano and singing, everyone's jaws dropped.

Tina exited the stage, leaving her son in the spotlight. Then he wowed everyone in the room.

He played and sang a rendition of Donny Hathaway's "A Song for You," and as he performed, it almost appeared as if his disabilities melted away. They didn't, of course, but they clearly didn't stop him from stunning the unsuspecting audience.

As Kodi masterfully sang his song, his voice ranging from powerfully clear to a sweet falsetto, the judge's expressions ranged from surprise to awe to joyful admiration.

By the time Kodi played his last note, his family was in tears backstage, and the judges and the entire audience were on their feet, cheering.

The judges gushed, and Gabrielle Union surprised Kodi with her first Golden Buzzer award.

"What just happened there was extraordinary," said judge Simon Cowell. "I'm going to remember this moment for the rest of my life."

Gabrielle Union is a new America's Got Talent judge, and she's never hit the Golden Buzzer button, which advances a contestant straight through to the finals.

"I'm a new judge this season," she told Kodi and Tina, who had rejoined her son onstage, "and I'm also a new mom this year. And it's the toughest job I've ever had, and the most rewarding job I've ever had. You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars, and the rainbows. And tonight, I'm going to give you something special."

She hit the Golden Buzzer, gold confetti rained down on Kodi and his mom, and everyone celebrated with unbridled glee.

Seriously, watch the whole clip and tell me it doesn't make your whole day:


Golden Buzzer: Kodi Lee Wows You With A Historical Music Moment! - America's Got Talent 2019 youtu.be

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.