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The Untold Truth About Courtney Hadwin You Didn't Know

British teen Courtney Hadwin is definitely on her way to becoming a star. To call it a rags-to-riches tale would be both an insult to her upbringing and a tad premature, but the young singer certainly shot to prominence after a jaw-dropping audition on Season 13 of America's Got Talent, wowing the judges with an enthusiastic rendition of an Otis Redding classic. She received a standing ovation and was put straight through to the live shows by judge Howie Mandel, who was all too happy to use his Golden Buzzer. At the time of this writing, Hadwin's version of "Hard to Handle" has been watched more than 50 million times on YouTube.

Part of the attraction with Hadwin is that she seems to transform from an awkward teenager into a seasoned singer oozing with self-confidence as soon as the music kicks in. But is she really that shy off the stage? And where has she been hiding all this time? Why did she need to cross the Atlantic to get noticed? Let's take a look at the singer's surprising rise to fame.

 Humble beginnings

Hadwin is a resident of Hesleden, a village nestled in northeast England. According to Hadwin's mother, Ann-Marie, there isn't much at home for her daughter. "Hesleden is small with a school, a shop, a pub, a park and a working men's club," she told The Sun. "It used to be a real mining community. But there isn't really much in the village. You have to travel out to do things." For Hadwin's dad, Paul, watching his daughter outgrow her hometown has been painful. "We're just a normal family and, to be honest, I'd prefer her to stay in the village with us," he admitted. "But I just want her to be happy." 

If everything goes according to plan, Hadwin's parents might be packing their bags, too. "I'd love to live in America," the singer said. "I'd miss home but if I went to the U.S. I'd bring my family with me anyway. I couldn't survive without them." Hadwin also revealed that one of the first things she'd do with the America's Got Talent prize money is find her family a place with a swimming pool. "There's not enough room for one in our back yard," she said.

 Big reputation

Before she jetted off to the States for AGT auditions, Hadwin told local station Hexham TV that she's wanted to be a singer ever since she saw a performance by the adorable Connie Talbot, a finalist on the first season of Britain's Got Talent. Like Talbot, Hadwin was naturally gifted, but she wanted to fine-tune her vocals and she knew that singing lessons didn't come cheap. According to her grandfather, Tom Storey, the resourceful teen started busking and pay for a vocal coach. Hadwin has apparently been performing on the streets of England since 2016, often traveling across the country to find prime locations.

"The busking has been paying for her music lessons and for petrol money," Storey told the Daily Mail, and it's apparently drawn a bit of ire from other street performers. "The shopkeepers and the punters love Courtney but the other buskers don't," Hadwin's granddad said. "They keep asking her to move away because she is always the big attraction and attracts the crowd."

 Finding fame

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