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Pop Culture

11-year-old AGT audience member wows everyone with her amazing voice—getting her own 'Golden Buzzer'

Madison Taylor Baez continued to move audiences when she told them what she would do with the million dollar prize.

madison baez, audience member sings, agt, America's Got Talent

Her talent is unreal.

We all know that in NBC’s long running “America’s Got Talent,” it’s all about earning that coveted Golden Buzzer. Performers of all kinds grace the stage in hopes of wowing the judges, seizing the prize and moving onto the next round.

What you might not know is that during commercial breaks, random audience members get a chance to show their stuff as well. Usually this bit is just for fun to pass the time. But one young singer gave such a spectacular performance that everyone was left in awe.

Eleven-year-old Madison Baez Taylor was placed in the audience by the show’s producers unbeknownst to the judges. A huge AGT fan, Madison had been to tapings since she was 4 years old and would always try to sing during the commercial breaks. Finally—the year she came to actually audition, no less—her dream came true.


Once Madison was handed the mic, there was no holding back. Her raw, soulful rendition of “Amazing Grace” instantly wowed, and the crowd burst into a standing ovation. Judges Sofía Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel spun in their chairs. Even the notoriously unimpressed Simon Cowell quickly came in from backstage to see who the mysterious powerhouse was.

“We do ask people in the breaks if they’d like to sing a song and I was literally just coming back in and I heard this voice, thinking, ‘Who the hell is that?’ And then I see this little thing in the audience and it’s you,” Cowell told Madison.

With a smile, Cowell then asked Madison to sing again. This time on the stage. For an official audition.

Through tears, Madison sang again a capella, somehow with even more flair and gusto. And holy moly, that vibrato.

Needless to say, cheers ensued.

After her thrilling encore, Cowell told Madison, “I’m not kidding. In all the years we’ve ever done this, this has never actually happened before. I mean, I normally leave during the break because people do sing, so this is actually the opposite. It actually brought me back into the room.”

Mandel then asked Madison what she might do with the $1 million grand prize if she were to win. Her heartfelt answer caught everyone by surprise.

“I would help my dad with cancer research. He's had stage 4 colon cancer for the past nine years,” Madison said, getting emotional.

Her dad, who had come to support his daughter during her big moment, later joined Madison on the stage. He revealed that she learned to sing by serenading him during his surgeries and chemo treatment. “She’d sing to me and help me get better, and I’m doing very well,” he told the audience.

Madison received the Golden Buzzer from Mandel. No vote necessary. She and her dad shared a wonderful moment of victory as the golden confetti rained down. Whether she makes it to the final round or not, this girl is a winner.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

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Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

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Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

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The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

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Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

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What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

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There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

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