‘America’s Got Talent’: Musical Prodigy Returns for Emotional Live Performance

by Suzanne Halliburton

There was so much star power on stage at America’s Got Talent Wednesday night. A former champ and musical prodigy collaborated with an organic social media star and an original member of Journey, who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame..

The three performed Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” the most perfect song for a summer reality talent competition. So take a bow Kodi Lee, Teddy Swims and Neal Schon. The trio sang in the middle of the results show as America’s Got Talent trimmed one semifinal round from 11 acts to two. Singer Sara James and magician Nicholas Ribs, the two winners from Wednesday night, are hoping to be like Lee next month and win a championship.

Here’s the song the three performed. Then read on for the amazing details about these three.

Kodi Lee is a singer and songwriter who also plays the piano. Yet he’s also autistic and legally blind. When he first appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2019, his mother accompanied him on stage. It was an odd sight, considering Lee was 22. But she explained the obstacles her son faces every day. Lee’s audition still resonates. It might be the most memorable ever. That one video of Lee auditioning with “A Song for You” earned a Golden Buzzer. And the video was viewed more than 300 million times by the time he won the America’s Got Talent title.

Kodi Lee celebrates his America’s Got Talent win in September, 2019. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Lee now is a headliner for the America’s Got Talent show in Las Vegas. He was more than happy to take a quick trip to California for Wednesday’s performance.

“Oh my gosh, it was so awesome,” Lee exclaimed when the three finished the song. And Schon told him “Kodi, you killed it. Killed it.”

Earlier Wednesday, Lee released his first original single, “Miracle.” It’s theme is every day can be a miracle. Lee is a waling reminder of that.

And since his America’s Got Talent win, Lee’s career has grown tremendously. You might’ve seen him perform the national anthem before April’s NFL draft. Or maybe you’ve watched one of his videos on social media. He has 385,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. And his Instagram features 376,000 avid followers. Plus, he’s got that Vegas gig with the America’s Got Talent show.

Meanwhile, Teddy Swims also represents a lot of folks who audition for America’s Got Talent, hoping for a major career break. Swims boasts 2.35 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. And he developed the immense following by singing covers of songs from Journey to George Strait.

Then there was guitarist Neal Schon, who has done it all. He was a founding member of Journey and also was part of Santana and Bad English. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

America’s Got Talent has two more weeks of semifinals as the talent show whittles its giant field to 11 finalists. The show crowns a champion, Sept. 14.