A 13-year-old British girl flew all the way to Los Angeles to audition for "America's Got Talent," and because of her shy demeanor when she stepped on stage, the judges never expected her to sound like Tina Turner once the music started.
Courtney Hadwin has become a new global sensation after her audition on Simon Cowell’s reality talent competition. A skinny, shy girl with a contagious smile, Hadwin has been labeled as the next Tina Turner or Janis Joplin’s incarnation because of her incredible vocal talent.
When she took the stage for the last season auditions of "America's Next Got Talent,” judge Mel B immediately asked how was she feeling, to which Courtney replied with a quiet "a little bit nervous." After a bit more reassurance from the former Spice Girl, Hadwin was ready to give her all on stage, and what happened next left the judge, and the audience, speechless and on their feet.
Wearing a floral dress, grey thighs, and brown boots, Courtney would pass as a girl who listens to Taylor Swift and is afraid of big audiences. But Courtney proved everyone wrong when the first notes of "Hard To Handle," by the Sixties King of Soul himself, Otis Redding, started blasting from the speakers.
Her transformation was of 180 degrees. She started dancing, twirling, and vibing to the song, as she moved everyone out of their seats with her powerful vocals. Even Tyra Banks, the show's host, was visibly shocked at Courtney's performance, as she waited on the sidelines with the girl's father.
In the end, Courtney received a standing ovation, and an impressed Simon Cowell told her: "you were this shiny little thing when your first came out, and then you sing, and you're like a lion." He then passed the mic to Howey Mandell, who stated Courtney's talent is not from this era.
THE MOMENT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
"I'm a huge Janis Joplin fan," he said and proceeded to tell the story about how Clive Davis discovered Joplin at a festival and decided to give her an opportunity in the music industry and a record deal. "That changed her life, do you know that story?" he asked Courtney, and she replied positively.
"I'm not Clive Davis, I'm Howie Mandel, and I can't sign you to a record deal. The only thing I can do for you, young lady, is to give you this," he stated before pressing the Golden Buzzer and sending Hadwin straight to the live shows.
For Courtney, the moment still feels surreal, as she confessed to the Daily Mail. "It doesn't feel real," she said . "Even at the time, it didn't feel real — it felt like I was watching myself on TV. It's weird.”
AN UNPRECEDENTED TALENT
Courtney's talent, according to her parents, has no precedent in her family. Her father, Paul, is a delivery driver, her mom Annmarie is a stay at home mom, and her little siblings are not as interested in music as she is.
Hadwin said:“I've been singing since I was really little. I don't really know why I just liked it. But I only started practicing properly when I was nine. I used to stand still and just do ballads, but then I got into James Brown and Janis Joplin. I saw a video of James Brown singing "I Feel Good," and it just went from there.”
Courtney's parents are as impressed as the rest of the world with their daughter's talents, and they’re very supportive, not pressuring her to do anything she doesn't feel comfortable doing. She said that auditioning was her idea.
And even though the girl didn't win AGT, Howie Mandel believes this is only the beginning for Courtney in the music industry, and her fans are excited to see what else the girl has under her sleeves in the future.
TINA TURNER AND HER LEGACY
Tina Turner would definitely be proud of Courtney.
As the young girl, Tina was a force to be reckoned back in the '70s.
She set a precedent for women in rock & roll and put the bar way too high for the future generations. Not only was her gravelly voice and rebellious attitude her trademark, but her musical so crossed racial and gender lines, joining artists of the match of Prince, Michael Jackson and Madonna in the new 80s movement where music spoke for itself and people was carefree about it.
She also started young in the industry, after being discovered by Ike Turner. However, the man that made her famous also turned her personal life into hell.
Turner was able to overcome her difficulties, and to this day, she's still considered as one of the most iconic female artists to have ever stepped into the limelight, even though she prefers to live out of it now.
Luckily, Courtney will follow her steps and become a legend, but leaving aside all the ugly parts of Turner's story.
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