Sometimes first impressions can be deceiving. Courtney Hadwin certainly proved that to be true when she appeared on “America’s Got Talent” on June 12.
When the unassuming and shy 13-year-old first took the stage, she seemed truly nervous and even had a bit of trouble answering judge Mel B’s opening questions, swaying and giggling as she struggled to retain her composure.
However, when she started to sing, a whole other side of the teen emerged. The judges and audience alike could scarcely believe the powerful voice that came out of this young girl, all traces of her stage fright from just moments before suddenly gone.
Watch the video of her rocking the house with a soulful rendition of the Otis Redding classic, “Hard to Handle”:
Hadwin had some big shoes to fill, as the song she chose to perform was not only originally written and recorded by soul legend Otis Redding, but has been covered many times over by such iconic acts as Grateful Dead, Etta James and perhaps most notably, The Black Crowes, whose 1990 version reached the number one spot on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.
Hadwin put her own signature spin on the song, however, and her impressive performance even spurred judge Howie Mandel to use the golden buzzer, ensuring she will advance in the competition to the live show.
Even notoriously tough judge Simon Cowell called her performance “genuinely incredible.” The talented teen appeared in shock as she thanked the judges through tears.
Hadwin was previously a finalist on “The Voice Kids UK” and she also has her own YouTube channel, where she can be seen belting out other covers of famous tunes, including “At Last” by Etta James and “Another Piece Of My Heart” by Janis Joplin, seen in the video below:
Congratulations to Hadwin, and we can’t wait to see how far she goes on “America’s Got Talent”!