When the Voices of Our City Choir stepped on to the America’s Got Talent audition stage Tuesday night (May 26), the judges didn’t know what to expect. Turns out, the group of people spanning every race, age and gender had a special story.
“There were so many people living unsheltered in my neighborhood. I met musicians and singers, and I was like, ‘Wow, we could put together a group and sing together,'” co-founder Steph Johnson explained. “There are people in the choir, they can’t afford medicine, they can’t afford rent, so we help them out. And through the money we raised, we helped people get off the street.”
A montage then played, showcasing the members of the choir, who have experienced homelessness for a variety of years and have undergone heartbreaking traumas. “I thank God for Voices of Our City Choir. Somebody wants to hear from me, and I’ll be singing loud,” one member explains.
The massive group went on to perform their emotional original song, “Sounds of the Sidewalk,” which was met by a standing ovation from everyone in the audience, plus the judges.
“I’ll tell you how I felt watching this choir, is that there’s not question or doubt that there is strength in numbers,” Simon Cowell explained. “What we have here is a collection of really talented people, and we need that raw talent to begin with, and that’s what we got.”
Host Terry Crews, who was watching the audition from side-stage, ran out to interrupt Cowell. “Simon, I got to stop you right now. It’s time to make something happen right now. For everybody on the stage, what they did today has moved me to this point right now.”
He then pressed the Golden Buzzer, which advances Voices of Our City choir straight to the live rounds. Watch their heartfelt audition below.