Mandy can sing, very well.
You have heard of people who are tone deaf, who can’t carry a tune. So, you wouldn’t expect a person who is deaf to be able to sing by any measure – and that’s not being cruel, just pragmatic.
Mandy Harvey will prove you wrong.
Belting out crystalline notes on America’s Got Talent, her heartwarming and remarkable demonstration of what a singer without hearing can accomplish has garnered close to 12 million views on YouTube.
In the clip aired last Tuesday, Harvey described through a sign-language interpreter how she became deaf at 18 because of a connective tissue disorder that led her nerves to deteriorate.
“After I lost my hearing, I gave up,” she said. “But I want to do more with my life than just give up.”
The Florida native learned how to sing again by using tools such as “visual tuners” and performs without wearing shoes so she can feel a song’s beat through floor vibrations.
If you are astonished that she sings although her hearing is impaired, you will be astounded to know that she composes songs as well!
Singing a song that she wrote entitled ‘Try‘ and playing her ukelele, she moved some members of the audience to tears and even the judges were visibly shocked by her lucid notes. She wrote the song to remind herself not to give up on her dreams.
At the end of her flawless audition, Simon Cowell hit a golden buzzer, sending Harvey to the show’s next round.
Joining Harvey onstage, Cowell told her that her performance “was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and heard”.
Trending on YouTube last Thursday, viewers showered Harvey with accolades. On Twitter, some users predicted her as the winner of the show.
Though the show may well make Harvey famous, it isn’t the first platform to discover her talent.
NBC Nightly News profiled the 29-year-old singer, who has released several albums, in 2015, as did the BBC this spring. And she has performed in prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Centre.
“I sing to encourage other people; that’s what makes me happy,” she told the BBC in its feature on her. “My passion, the whole reason why I sing, is so that I can say, ‘Hey, this is what I’ve done; I really hope that I can encourage you to do the same.'”