‘America’s Got Talent’ Teen Stuns Judges With Janis Joplin-Like Performance
Despite only living to the age of 27, Janis Joplin remains one of the most influential rock singers to this day. Her voice was dominant, gruff and soulful, all characteristics embodied by a young contestant on America's Got Talent that left judges floored by her take on "Hard to Handle."
Walking out onstage in front of the panel, 13-year-old Courtney Hadwin appears timid and nervous (video above), but finds her confidence when the backing tape to the Otis Redding original (popularized by the Black Crowes in the '90s) starts rolling. Instantly, she goes from shy teenage girl to a commanding frontwoman with the incarnate spirit of Janis Joplin and seasoned stage moves. At times, she flails like a double-jointed Axl Rose, but it all adds to the star power of the performance.
"You were this shy little thing when you first came out, then you sing and you're like a lion — genuinely incredible," says the notoriously mean-spirited Simon Cowell, who earned his reputation slamming subpar contestants on American Idol. Howie Mandel said Hadwin is "not from this era."
Lamenting the fact that he can't sign Hadwin to a record deal, Mandel reached over the other judges to hit the golden buzzer on the desk, which sends the contestant straight to the live show. Each judge is only granted one use of the golden buzzer throughout the duration of the season.
While the mainstream continues to perpetuate the narrative that rock is dead, it certainly seems to be catching fire with the younger generation. Greta Van Fleet, despite having yet to release their debut album, are being hailed as the next Led Zeppelin and perhaps we'll see a similar rock future for the promising Courtney Hardwin.
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