Blind singer with autism wins ‘America’s Got Talent’

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LOS ANGELES — In May, a now 23-year-old singer, assisted by his mother and a cane as he walked on stage, gave what many called one of the most memorable performances ever on “America’s Got Talent.”

Kodi Lee, of California, was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, which caused him to become blind.

At an early age, he was diagnosed with autism and also suffers from Addison’s disease, a life-threatening disorder, but that never stopped him from expressing himself through music.

His mother, Tina, told the show’s judges that he loved music “really early on.”

Judge Simon Cowell said Lee’s first audition was a moment he’d never forget.

“What just happened there was extraordinary,” Cowell said. “I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life.”

Lee even earned a Golden Buzzer from judge Gabrielle Union. On the night of the finale, he performed with singer Leona Lewis.

On Wednesday, Lee was announced as the winner of “America’s Got Talent” against runner-up Detroit Youth Choir.

Lee won $1 million and a show in Las Vegas from Nov. 7-10.

When Lee was asked what he would do with the money, he told host Terry Crews that he was going to “buy lots of grand pianos in every color.”

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