Kidney transplant survivor Angelica Hale made history by becoming the first ever contestant on America’s Got Talent to be honored with the prestigious golden buzzer.
Hale belted out a rousing rendition of Rachel Platten’s anthem “Fight Song” for her performance, one that had the audience leaping to their feet.
“Tonight, I really am fighting for my place on ‘AGT: The Champions,’ and I think this song really applies to what I’m doing today,” Hale told the judges before she began to perform.
Even the judges couldn’t hold back their enthusiasm, except for Mel B who insisted she could’ve given it more, but the other judges didn’t agree with her.
“You are like the little boss lady that you are; you came here to win,” Heidi Klum exclaimed
Judge Howie Mandel disagreed with Mel B’s viewpoint and proclaimed that he was going to do whatever it took to see Hale make her way to the finals.
“You showed up and ripped the ceiling off this theater. You know what, that was your fight song, and if I can do anything I’m going to help you win this fight,” Mandel said before he slammed his hand on the golden buzzer raining down golden glitter on top of a clearly shocked Hale.
We’re not crying… You’re crying! ????????
— America's Got Talent (@AGT) January 22, 2019
She collapsed on the ground, crying.
“I can’t believe this is actually happening to me. I never expected this to happen,” she said.
Social media was abuzz with Hale’s Golden Buzzer.
“I’m going to help you WIN THIS FIGHT! @angelicahale, you are a CHAMPION!” Mandel later tweeted after the performance.
Eleven-year-old Hale’s response on social media was adorable.
“Can’t believe this is really happening!!!” she tweeted along with a crying emoji and a heart with stars.
The Filipino-American rose to fame in 2017 by finishing as the runner up in Season 12 of America’s Got Talent. During that competition, guest judge Chris Hardwick called her “The Chosen One” and treated her with his Golden Buzzer.
She was invited back to compete on America’s Got Talent: The Champions, which included 10 former winners and standout acts from different America’s Got Talent competitions around the world.
The little girl from Georgia hasn’t had it easy growing up though. It was only fitting that she chose Platten’s “Fight Song,” which many cancer patients and survivors have used as their inspiration in their battle to live.
When Hale was just 4-years-old, her kidney stopped working and she was diagnosed with sepsis. She needed a new kidney in order to live. Her mom was a match and donated one of her kidneys to her ailing daughter.
Hale told People that there was a specific reason why she chose “Fight Song” for her performance.
“I wanted to send a message, telling [judges and fans] this is my fight song and I can put up a fight! I’m going to fight for my place on Champions. I was competing against some of the most amazing talents so I knew I had to step it up. I had to step up my game so the song I chose had a lot to do with me and my past,” she said.