Tina Lee Shares Her Feelings about Seeing Blind and Autistic Son Kodi on Stage at AGT

Junie Sihlangu
May 31, 2019
09:40 A.M.
Share this pen

On Tuesday night’s “America’s Got Talent” season premiere, a blind and autistic young man received the Golden Buzzer from a new judge on the show. In a new interview, the singer’s mother expressed how she felt seeing him perform on stage.


California resident Kodi Lee, 22, wowed “America’s Got Talent” judge's Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough, and Gabrielle Union with an amazing rendition of Leon Russell's “A Song For You.”

The blind and autistic man appeared to completely transform as his mother, Tina Lee, guided him to a piano where none of his disabilities mattered. Kodi had some of the judges and audience members in tears as he hit high notes and sang beautifully.


After his performance was done, the singer received a standing ovation. New judge, Union, surprised everyone by using her one and only Golden Buzzer to send Kodi straight to the Hollywood live shows.

"It's almost like he knew that was the place to like, give it all."

On Wednesday, the singer and his mother were interviewed by “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.” Tina confessed that she was in awe of her son's talent.


She said

“There's this other part of him, it is like two people. You put him on stage and all of a sudden, it's like the flip of a hat, and he has no disabilities on stage.”

Kodi’s mother added

“I've been watching him perform for quite a while, but that day on stage, the sound as he started to sing, it was like the best sound I have ever heard come out of his mouth.”


Tina continued

“Like, I was shocked. I literally could not stop crying. It's almost like he knew that was the place to like, give it all. He'd always say, ‘I want to perform for thousands of people.’ And I'm like, Kodi, you're performing for millions of people.”

The proud mother continued her praise of her son saying: “He's just such an innocent soul, and he's so happy, always. And to be around him, it helps you be happy.” Kodi appeared to be happy with all the attention he was receiving.


He said: “I feel excited.” When asked if he was anticipating the live shows he would be a part of his response was two words: “Heck yeah!” 

The singer’s official website revealed that he was born with optic nerve hypoplasia. This is described as a congenital condition which leaves the optic nerve not fully developed.


Union was the last judge to give her comments after Kodi’s performance on Tuesday. She said: “I'm a new judge this season, and I'm also a new mom this year. It's the toughest job I have ever had, and the most rewarding job I have ever had. You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars, and the rainbows, and tonight I'm going to give you something special.”

Then she hit the golden buzzer and had everyone elated as they celebrated Kodi’s amazing achievement. While on stage to hug the incredible singer, Union told him: “You just changed the world.”