Jayna Brown may have been nervous in front of guest judge Louis Tomlinson while auditioning on Wednesday’s America’s Got Talent, but the 14-year-old singer owned the stage once she began performing.
Captivating the audience with an emotional rendition of Andra Day’s inspiring ballad “Rise Up,” Brown flawlessly belted out each note, especially her velvety falsetto sections. “And I’ll rise up. I’ll rise like the day,” she sang in the chorus. “I’ll rise up. I’ll rise unafraid.”
That’s just what Brown did in the spotlight, earning applause from the stands as the judges looked on with amazement. It was so good, even Simon Cowell lifted his arm up and swayed back and forth.
After hitting her final note, the camera cut to her mom, who was screaming in the audience — marking the beginning of Brown’s exciting aftermath.
“It’s not just one thing with you. It’s not just the voice,” gushed Tomlinson. “It’s not just the performance. You have everything, and it’s so infectious to watch you perform.”
Yes, he hit the show’s coveted Golden Buzzer, and yes, gold confetti rained down from the ceiling as Brown got a standing ovation, putting the biggest smile on her face.
Then she got to hug the One Direction singer. “Well done, well done,” he said. “You killed it.”
Tomlinson later added: “That voice, for a 14-year-old, such a gorgeous recording voice. You should be very excited, very excited.”
Prior to singing, Brown shared how personal circumstances inspired her performance.
“My mom and I moved to Atlanta, but we lost our home there, so we’re kind of like in between houses right now,” said Brown, whose mom explained that they’re staying with a neighbor. “I’m really trying to do my best out here because it would mean the world to me and my mom to have this opportunity. So when I get on that stage tonight, I’m just going to sing my heart out.”
Watch her victorious moment in the video below.