Judges don't expect to hear this voice when a deaf woman takes off her shoes and starts singing
A woman who has been deaf for 10 years sings like an angel and earns a Golden Buzzer at "America's Got Talent."
Mandy Harvey is a professional musician, singer, and songwriter. She is also deaf and has been for 10 years, since she lost her hearing at the age of 18.
Harvey could no longer hear herself, so she learned to trust her muscle memory and her perfect pitch pursue her dream of being a singer.
She succeeded beyond her expectations and her audition for "America's Got Talent" posted on YouTube/ America's Got Talent has had over 30 million views.
“If I take back any of the bumps, bruises or scrapes I’ve been through, I wouldn’t be the same person. I would tell my younger self, ‘this is going to be hard but you’re going to get through it and you’re going to be better for it. Just keep going.’”
Mandy Harvey, Forbes.com, July 10, 2018.
Harvey had begun singing in her local choir at the age of four. She was already experiencing hearing problems and would get close to the piano to hear the pitch.
It was here that she learned to hone her voice and trust her perfect pitch, learning to feel the rhythm through the floorboards.
HARVEY'S DREAM WAS TO BE A MUSIC TEACHER
Harvey had set her heart on becoming a music teacher, but when she lost her hearing at 18, she realized she couldn't attend the courses for vocal music education and her dream was shattered.
FINDING HER WAY BACK TO MUSIC, SONGWRITING, AND PERFORMING
Harvey had kept a journal when she was losing her hearing. In it, she described compulsively described each sound. It was only after she started learning American Sign Language and got involved with the deaf community that she paradoxically found her way back to music.
"AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" AND THE GOLDEN BUZZER
Harvey had an opportunity to audition on "America’s Got Talent" and she took the chance. She stood up on stage and, and talking off her shoes so she could feel the vibrations of the musiv«c threw her feet, started to sing one of her own compositions, "Try."
Notoriously demanding music mogul Simon Cowell was so taken by her extraordinary voice, her music and her original song that he slammed his hand down on the mythical Golden Buzzer every contestant dreams of and sent her straight through to the live performance section of the show.
Unfortunately, some sectors within the deaf community see Harvey's extraordinary conquest of her limitation to transcend and follow her dream to be "traitorous to the deaf community."
Harvey who had been touring before her appearance on "AGT" has now seen her career take off after she finished 5th in the competition and is now working on her 4th album.
She has received strong criticism from the deaf community and even death threats. She is accused of "Oralism."
"Oralism" is the name given to the practice of educating deaf people to use speech and lip-reading rather than sign language.
Harvey, explains that deaf people feel that her singing is seen as a betrayal of what is now called Deaf Culture, which favors the exclusive use of sign language for deaf people, and eschews the use of voice and lip reading.
In a related story, Elizabeth Shoesmith wanted to honor her deaf fiance Scott, so she spent months learning to sign the lyrics to a love-song for their wedding day.