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Watch a British Teen's Golden Buzzer-Winning Performance of 'Hard to Handle' on 'America's Got Talent'

Billboard logo Billboard 6/13/2018 Lars Brandle

Nerves can wreck any performer’s day. Not Courtney Hadwin. When the British teen auditioned on America’s Got Talent, she confessed to her battle with nerves right from the start. Nerves of steel, more like.  

a person smiling for the camera: Courtney Hadwin performs on "America's Got Talent" © Provided by Billboard Courtney Hadwin performs on "America's Got Talent" Hadwin surprised everyone in the room as she wheeled around the stage and belted out Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle,” covered in the '90s by the Black Crowes.

"Bloody hell Courtney,” enthused judge Simon Cowell. “You were this shy little thing when you came out. Then you sing and you’re like a lion. I mean, genuinely incredible.”

Howie Mandel went one better. “You are not from this era. You’re from a whole different era,” the judge observed. “I’m a huge Janis Joplin fan. There’s a story, if you ever watch the documentary. Clive Davis, he, goes to the Monterey Pop Festival and he sees this young girl that nobody has ever seen before and that nobody knows. It was the first time Janis Joplin got signed." Unlike Davis, Mandel couldn't swing a record deal. But he could hit the golden buzzer, and he did just that 

Hadwin, a finalist on The Voice Kids U.K., now progresses to the live round.  

“I didn't know what to expect when I auditioned for AGT but the golden buzzer was more than I ever could have dreamed of,” the youngster from Hartlepool, England tweeted after the show.

Watch her performance below. 


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