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singing competition

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