Emotional Talent Show Singers That Will Break Your Heart
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There’s nothing quite like a great singing voice that resonates, but when that voice is coupled with a heartbreaking backstory, it can be even more powerful. These singers from all over the world have overcame incredible odds to share their stories with the world, and their voices will stay with you long after you’ve finished watching.
Emotional Voices That Will Break Your Heart
15. Evie Clair – AGT 2017
Evie Clair is a singer-songwriter who rose to fame after her emotional audition on America’s Got Talent in 2017. Clair’s father was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer shortly before her audition, and she dedicated her performance to him.
14. Nightbirde – AGT 2021
One of the most emotional voices to ever grace a talent show stage was Nightbirde. Her real name was Jane Marczewski, and she was a 31-year-old singer-songwriter from Zanesville, Ohio. Nightbirde was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2017, and she was given a two percent chance of survival. Despite her illness, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a singer.
13. Janet Devlin – X Factor UK 2011
Janet Devlin was a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Belfast, Northern Ireland when she auditioned for the X Factor UK in 2011. She sang “Your Song” by Elton John and her performance was so moving that it earned the praise of the judges and applause of the audience. Devlin’s voice was described as “haunting” and “powerful,” and she quickly became a fan favorite on the show.
12. Aaron Westberry – American Idol 2022
At just 20 years old, Aaron Westberry, a produce clerk from Greenville, South Carolina, brought a sense of charm to the American Idol stage during his 2022 audition. Dressed casually in sweatpants and a long sleeve t-shirt, Westberry chose to showcase his talent with a cover of Sam Hunt’s “2016,” captivating the judges.
11. Jayy – AGT 2021
Jayy is a courageous singer hailing from the Dominican Republic, who brought a heart-wrenching backstory that moved both the judges and the audience. Despite the unimaginable tragedy she went through, Jayy stood strong and successfully graced the stage of AGT during Season 16.
10. Father Ray Kelly – BGT 2018
Parish Priest Father Ray Kelly of Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland moved hearts with his emotional rendition of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” on Britain’s Got Talent 2018. The 64-year-old’s soulful performance earned a standing ovation from both the judges and the audience, leaving Simon Cowell visibly touched.
9. Lily Meola – AGT 2022
Hailing from Maui and currently residing in California, Lily Meola charmed audiences with her captivating voice during Season 17 of AGT. Heidi Klum was so touched by Meola’s heartfelt audition that she pressed the Golden Buzzer, sending the singer directly to the Semifinals.
8. Isaac Waddington – BGT 2015
In 2015, Isaac Waddington auditioned for BGT and performed “Always a Woman” by Billy Joel. His performance was well-received by the judges and audience, and he progressed to the live shows.
7. Josh Daniel – X Factor UK 2015
During X Factor UK season 12 in 2015, Josh Daniel made a lasting impression with his emotional audition where he dedicated his rendition of Labyrinth’s “Jealous” to a childhood friend who had passed away. His heartfelt performance touched the judges, including Cowell, who was moved to tears.
6. Sam Kelly – BGT 2012
Sam Kelly’s BGT audition left a profound impact due to his song choice, “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan, known for its emotional depth. With his melodic voice and heartfelt delivery, Kelly’s performance resonated strongly with both the judges and the audience.
5. Amanda Mammana – AGT 2022
During her AGT 2022 audition, Liberty University sophomore Amanda Mammana amazed the judges and audience with her gifted singing and songwriting, all while overcoming a speech impediment. Her heartfelt performance of an original song and the standing ovation she received proved that her stutter wouldn’t hold her back.
4. Olivia Archbold – BGT 2010
Shy 14-year-old Olivia Archbold stepped onto the BGT stage with a big dream of becoming a star. Overcoming her nerves, she delivered a spellbinding rendition, impressing the judges and earning praise for her professional and confident delivery.
3. Ryan O’Shaughnessy – BGT 2012
Ryan O’Shaughnessy graced the BGT stage in 2012, leaving an unforgettable mark with his touching performance. The talented singer-songwriter charmed the audience with his original song “No Name,” a heartfelt ballad that conveyed a touching love story.
2. Calum Scott – BGT 2015
In 2015, Calum Scott took the BGT stage by storm, delivering a breathtaking audition that left everyone in awe. Singing a soulful rendition of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” Scott’s emotional performance struck a chord with the judges and audience alike. His heartfelt vocals and vulnerability made for a powerful moment, leading to a standing ovation from the audience and a Golden Buzzer from Cowell.
1. J-Sol – X Factor UK 2018
J-Sol’s X Factor UK 2018 run was a standout moment filled with raw emotion and talent. Singing an original song titled “Bullet in My Heart,” he bared his soul and shared a deeply personal story of losing his mother at a young age. His soulful voice and heartfelt performance touched the judges and audience, leaving them in awe.