Talent Recap

Matt Mauser Auditions for ‘AGT’ After Losing His Wife in Helicopter Crash that Killed Kobe Bryant


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Matt Mauser lost his wife Christina Mauser in the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of eight others including NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. A little over a year after the Calabasas crash, Matt is auditioning for AGT. He wants to show his three children how to pick themselves up and keep going even through the darkest times.

Singer Matt Mauser Auditions for ‘AGT’ After Losing His Wife in Helicopter Crash

Christina and Matt met when he was finishing up playing a show with his band Tijuana Dogs. Christina was a fan of their original music, which meant everything to the longtime musician. After four months of dating, Matt popped the question and they were married in 2005. Christina helped the band overhaul their online presence and helped with the business side of things.

Bryant even hired Matt to create the music for his kid-friendly podcast called “The Punies,” which came out in 2018. Bryant and Christina coached a girls’ basketball team at the Mamba Sports Academy and were on their way to a basketball tournament leading up to the crash. After her death, Matt started The Christina Mauser Foundation to support female athletes through scholarships and financial aid.

“In the year since Christina‘s death, I’ve experienced the darkest days of my life,” he wrote in a Good Morning America piece in January. “The fog that played a part in her death lifted later that day, but the fog of losing my soulmate remained in my heart.”

Matt Wrote an Emotional Song After Christina’s Death

Matt is also a Frank Sinatra tribute singer and music is very important to him since it’s how he and Christina met. He wrote his first song when he was 8 years old and music runs in his family. Matt now uses music as a form of therapy. He wrote the song “Lost” as a tribute to Christina after her death.

“I play (‘Lost’) and it just brings up everything all over again,” he said. “But I’m glad I wrote it. It directed me to what I needed to do next. It helped me to get to that next phase.”

Their daughter Penny Rose was supposed to board the helicopter with Christina on the day of the crash but was sick the week leading up to the basketball tournament. Matt thought it was best for Penny to stay home and focus on her song “Green Bike” set to be released on the day of the crash. They released the song in April 2020 as a way for Penny to honor her mother’s memory.


Another thing that has helped Matt cope with Christina’s death is swimming. A month after the helicopter crash, Matt swam in his friend Diego Pombo’s pool. Sports and music were the two things Matt and Christina were able to mesh together and eventually led them to working with Bryant.

“Once she died, it became something that was more than just a hobby,” he said. “It became my therapy, getting back in the pool and training for the sake of training.”

After Surviving COVID, Matt is Hoping to Change Lives on ‘AGT’

All four of the Mauser’s got COVID-19 earlier in the pandemic, but recovered within two weeks. Now, Matt is headed to ‘AGT’ to share more of his story with the world. Matt made the announcement that he auditioned for ‘AGT’ before a promo featuring him on stage aired during The Voice Season 20 finale.

“Sometimes life presents you with opportunities,” he wrote on Instagram. “Even amidst your darkest days. And this is one that I took. I auditioned for this show to hopefully raise awareness for the #ChristinaMauserFoundation, and to show my kids that you have to pick yourself up and keep going.”

Season 16 of AGT premieres on June 1 on NBC.

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