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singing

Reid Thomas Wilson got the coveted Golden Buzzer for his AGT performance.

Ever since American Idol gave us the one-and-only Kelly Clarkson in its first season, modern talent competitions have become a staple of television viewing. We've seen so many incredible performers come through shows like "American Idol," "The Voice," and the "Got Talent" series, but there are still some singers who manage to surprise and delight audiences with their powerful, unique voices.

For instance, 14-year-old Reid Thomas Wilson.

Reid performed Lesley Gore's 1963 hit "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent," and it's safe to say no one expected the voice that came out of a boy from Alabama who's still in braces.


Gore was only 17 when she released "You Don't Own Me" and the song has been covered by artists such as Dusty Springfield, Joan Jett and Ann Wilson over the decades, but it's never sounded quite like this. It's no wonder Howie Mandel smashed that Golden Buzzer button, rocketing Reid to the live show round of the competition.

"Well, Reid, we weren't expecting that," said judge Simon Cowell. "You know, I shut my eyes for a moment when you were singing, just to listen to your voice, and then I opened them again and there's this sweet young kid."

Howie Mandel concurred. "I was bowled over because I was surprised…first of all, you're just a 14-year-old kid from Alabama, so I would imagine—I put myself in your position—you were very nervous. And you did come off incredibly nervous, that was a surprise."

As the judges and Reid's mother pointed out, Reid was very nervous at the beginning of the audition, but he ultimately knocked it out of the park.

When Cowell asked what singer he draws inspiration from, Reid said singing legend Aretha Franklin. "Your parents must have great taste in music," said Cowell, to which Reid simply and hilariously responded, "No."

Speaking of Aretha Franklin, Reid has had some experience with virality on social media for some of his at-home singing videos, including one where he sings Franklin's "Aint' No Way." Broadway great Lea Solanga commented on the video, "What on earth????? This kid is incredible!!!!!!!!" Another video in which Reid sang part of "The Impossible Dream" prompted a wave of big-name comments as well, such as Kristin Chenoweth telling him he should audition for her Broadway Boot Camp and Boy George commenting, "Write songs. Your voice deserves new songs."

People on AGT's TikTok of Reid's audition had nothing but praise for the young singer.

"The longer he sang ,the better he got!"

"His voice is very transatlantic vintage and it's AMAZING"

"Amazing voice control. This kid is going places!"

"You could see Simon listening closely and I love it when he does that. He’s picturing success I think."

"His clarity and control at 14 years old HOLY HECK!! he deserves that golden buzzer 😭"

Reid apparently comes from a talented family. His brother, Ryley Tate Wilson, was a competitor on "The Voice" in 2023 at age 16, making it to the semi-finals before being eliminated.

Reid is definitely one to watch, with this much talent at such a young age. Watch the full AGT audition and judges' comments here:

Reid Wilson Receives The GOLDEN BUZZER For "You Don't Own Me" | Auditions | AGT 2024www.youtube.com

Malakai Boyah has the voice of an angel.

Sometimes a person opens their mouth to sing and what comes out is not at all what one would expect. We’ve seen it countless times on various “Got Talent” shows, but one unexpected young singer not only surprised the judges and audience of Britain’s Got Talent with his voice but even brought many of them to tears.

Malakai Bayoh is a 14-year-old from London. For his BGT audition earlier in 2023, when he was 13, he sang “Pie Jesu,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic in Latin that helped launch Charlotte Church’s career. "Pie Jesu" is a beautiful hymn that requires a soprano voice and includes some challenging vocal high jumps. When it’s done well, it has a mesmerizing, otherworldly quality to it.

Malakai did it well.


With the voice of an angel, he stunned everyone in the BGT studios as well as the folks watching at home. People in the live audience wiped away tears. The famously hard-to-impress Simon Cowell couldn’t stop smiling as Malakai sang, and at one point, it looked as if judge Bruno Tonioli (who is delightfully prone to dramatics, to be fair) might actually faint.

Watch:

People on YouTube haven't been able to stop raving about Malakai's performance.

"I would say this performance automatically entered into the top ten golden buzzers of all time," wrote one commenter.

"As a trained singer, watching agt and bgt usually distresses me, but my husband loves it. I was in the bedroom when i heard Malachi's voice pouring out if the living room like an angel. I"ve heard Pie Jesu performed many times, but this was not a performance, this was sound straight from the Creator to touch our souls. A message of love," shared another."

"I'm a trained singer, and a music teacher by profession, and sang this song as a young performer myself. I can say with absolute certainty this is the most beautifully I've ever heard this song sung. Not only is he a TRULY gifted singer, he sings with poise. With proper technique, proper breathing, proper everything. His vowels are PERFECTION, the smoothness with which he sings is truly impeccable. The amount of control it takes to sing slowly, that high.... this boy is truly a gift from God. Thank you for gracing our ears with your voice little one," shared another.

"I have seen it 10 times in a row and I have cried all 10 times…definitely a voice that comes from heaven," shared another.

As Simon Cowell said, "It was like being in heaven." It seems that everyone is in agreement.

Since his initial BGT audition, Boyah has continued to wow BGT judges and fans with his classical singing. You can watch his performance of "Caruso" here and enjoy his tuxedoed performance of "O Mio Babbino Caro" here. This kid in definitely going places.

In fact, Malakai has recorded his debut album, appropriately called "Golden." Watch out world, here comes Malakai.

Main Street brought the house down with their medley of modern-ish pop tunes

Few things send us reeling through a time warp like the musical stylings of a barbershop quartet. The perfect 4-part harmonies, the old-fashioned vests and straw hats and the turn-of-the-20th-century vibe evoke the sweet simplicity of a bygone era.

Barbershop groups often perform old standards, which is why one quartet's song about "the good old days" combined with a medley of late 90s' and early 00's pop songs hit a nerve. A group called Main Street performed "Today Will Be The Good Old Days Twenty Years from Now" at a barbershop quartet competition in 2015, and their renditions of Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, NSYNC, No Doubt and others' songs are as delightful as they are impressive.


The message in the first part of their performance is a hard pill to swallow, but those of us of a certain age know it to be true. The music from our youth is now considered "classic rock," but this medley makes that harsh reality we all have to face eventually a whole lot more fun.

Watch the performance shared by the Barbershop Harmony Society, which has over 7 million views on YouTube:

People loved not only hearing their pop favorites done in barbershop but also how well it was done.

"The average person doesn't get how incredibly complex this is just for ONE song," shared one commenter. "Even if you’ve been doing music professionally for years this is extremely complicated to do, and I hope it doesn't go unappreciated."

"That was a 15-second sustained note by the guy second from the left. That's incredibly impressive lung control. Whether or not you like barbershop music, you have to give these people credit for being amazing singers," shared another.

"You know the harmonies are tight when you don't know who sings which part," wrote another.

"There's something so gratifying about watching four people on a stage with no instruments just singing together and after 8 minutes still have your jaw dropped," wrote another. Indeed.

Even one of the judges from the competition weighed in:

"Watching this again and have watched it again many times. I happened to be one of the 15 judges on that panel at that event and am pretty certain I gave that the highest score I've ever given a quartet in contest. And, having seen it again many times I'm so thankful that is true and I probably should have given it a few more points. :) Well, actually, I didn't have many left I could possibly give anyway. So entertaining and well sung!"

And people who love barbershop are thrilled with how much attention the video has received.

"As a long time Barbershopper, it blows me away how well this performance did with the 'outside' crowd," wrote one person. "Barbershop as a genre and hobby is incredibly niche. The fact that this video has MILLIONS of views is crazy to me, and it’s awesome. I hope you all will check out more videos on the internet! Main Street, Vocal Spectrum, Crossroads, After Hours, etc. SO many amazing ensembles out there!!!"

Check out Barbershop Harmony Society on YouTube here for more barbershop music.

Dan Vasc sings "Amazing Grace" with a heavy metal twist.

"Amazing Grace" may just be the world's most beloved and recognizable hymn, with people from all faith traditions and walks of life finding meaning and comfort in its lyrics. It was written in 1772 by John Newton, a former slave trader, after a near-fatal shipwreck caused him to reevaluate his life, convert to Christianity and become a devoted abolitionist.

Newton's spiritual has been sung by countless people in countless renditions, but there's a good chance you've never seen it sung quite like this.

Heavy metal singer Dan Vasc recorded a solo rendition of "Amazing Grace" and shared it on his YouTube channel, where it has received over 7 million views. If you're thinking that the grungy, high-pitched scream-singing that marks metal music is a strange match for a traditional Christian hymn, you could be right. But give Vasc's version a listen before passing judgment because he might just change your mind.


It does help that Vasc begins the song in a more traditional way, with his rich tone and impressive vocal control making his classical singing training evident. Then it builds and goes up an octave. A harmonica comes out of nowhere. Then it builds more. Another octave. And finally, that scream-singing that you don't expect to work but totally does, making believers of even the most ardent metal music skeptics.

Oh, and for the record, Vasc arranged and recorded all of the instruments and vocals here himself.

Enjoy:

If you're sitting there picking your jaw up off the floor or reaching for the replay button, you aren't the only one. People in the comments—young and old, religious and non-religious, metal fans and non-fans—shared similar reactions:

"I'm a 62-yr-old Scot and have always felt this song was meant to be belted out, your version is how this should be sung. I bet yours rattled the doors of heaven, absolutely brilliant."

"The best most passionate version I have ever heard in my 60 years! I felt every powerful note into my soul! Incredible performance."

"This was sung at our wedding. Wow, this is such a powerful version. I love the history of the song. While not super religious, this moves me."

"This song was written to be sung EXACTLY like this! With honor, respect, and power! This isn’t just a quiet little song. Thank you for doing this song the way it was designed to be done. It’s beautiful! I’ve never heard it sung like this in my entire life. You have a beautiful voice!"

"I am a 64-year-old preacher's son. I grew up singing this song and have done so my entire life. You, sir, captured the true emotion John Newton intended for us to feel. The most beautiful rendition I have ever heard."

"I'm not a metal fan....but I am a music and musician fan. You have delivered a powerful and beautiful rendition of this song. Your control of your gift is fabulous. Timing, diction, expression and air control. As someone else mentioned....I've heard it done a thousand ways and sung it myself too many times. I felt it in my heart as you sang it here. A great and stirring performance. Thank You."

Find more of Dan Vasc's music on YouTube.