AMERICA’S Got Talent viewers were left in tears as Kodi Lee beat the Detroit Youth Choir to win the $1 million prize in Wednesday’s live final.
The singer, who is blind and has autism, celebrated after he captured the hearts of audiences with his sweet vocals and positive personality.
As well as winning a million dollars, he will headline a show in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel and Casino.
His winning performance was a spine-tingling cover of Freda Riding’s Lost Without You.
Judge Simon Cowell described it as “one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.”
The California native was born with optic nerve hypoplasia and was then diagnosed with autism when he was four years old.
His mother Tina has accompanied him on stage for the entire competition, and viewers were full of emotion as they watched the pair celebrate his win.
Taking to Twitter, one wrote: “kodi lee winning #agt makes my heart happier than i can describe and i can’t stop crying.”
Another added: “ONE OF THE GREATEST SEASONS OF AMERICA’S GOT TALENT EVER!
KODI LEE CONGRATULATIONS YOU DESERVE IT. I AM CRYING MY HAPPY TEARS. MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN. THANK YOU KODI LEE FOR YOUR INSPIRATION.”
A third agreed, writing: “KODI OH MY GOD YES!!! LITERALLY CRYING!!! MY FAVORITE SINCE DAY ONE!! #AGT #AGTResults #AGTFinale.”
Mom Tina had revealed during the audition stages of the show: “We found out that he loved music really early on.
“He listened and his eyes just went huge, and he started singing, that’s when I was in tears.
“I realised he’s an entertainer. Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world because when you’re autistic, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does.
“It actually has saved his life playing music.”
Judge Gabrielle Union, who gave Kodi her golden buzzer during the series, previously told People: “He’s making people believe in something they didn’t even know is attainable. He’s magic.”
Host Terry Crews announced him the winner during the NBC show’s star-studded final, which had included performances from Cher and Paula Abdul.
Ryan Niemiller, a comedian who was born with a congenital birth defect in both arms, finished in third position.
Kodi, 22, also beat fellow finalists V. Unbeatable, who finished in fourth place, and dance troupe Light Balance Kids.
The Light Balance Kids had taken Simon Cowell by surprise when former American Idol judge Paula, 57, revealed herself to have danced with them in the finale.
She peeled off her mask at the end of the routine much to Simon’s shock and delight.
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Meanwhile Kygo had opened the show, with Cher later taking to the stage to dazzle with a vibrant performance of ABBA classic Waterloo.
The 73-year-old Oscar-winner looked sensational in a figure-hugging plunging purple jumpsuit as she strutted around the stage with her dancers.
Viewers couldn’t get enough of her performance and appearance, with one writing on Twitter: “Wow
@cher on #agt wow singing Waterloo wow amazing as always.”
Another added: “#AGT I’ve loved @cher since the Sonny and Cher days. Tonight I realized she hasn’t aged. I want full disclosure now: Is Cher from Venus? Stop playing. I’m dead serious.”
A third tweeted: “And @cher….I mean….she.was.awesome! Loved her rendition of #ABBA’s #Waterloo. Plus she looked fabulous on @AGT tonight! #Legend #Icon #AGT #AGTFinale.”