Filipino talent is once again taking the spotlight overseas, and it's the voice of a 9-year-old who is getting the attention of America and the world.
Nine-year-old Filipino-American Angelica Hale from John Creek, in Georgia, U.S., advanced to the next round of America's Got Talent (AGT) Season 12 with her audition performance of Andra Day's song, "Rise Up." And, wow, did the Whitney Houston-wannabe deliver! All four judges -- Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Mel B, and Heidi Klum -- and the audience gave her a standing ovation.
"You're tiny. Your voice is huge! I have a feeling we may be looking at a star in the future," Cowell said. Klum admitted to having goosebumps. "You’re a clever little girl, and you said you want to be a superstar. I think that might happen for you, let me tell you," she added. Mel B, Angelica's favorite among the four judges, said, "You are so special, and your voice is so amazing." Mandel agreed with Klum that Angelica's dreams would come true.
The video about her background, aired before she took the AGT stage, showed that Angelica survived "double pneumonia" (a lung infection that affected both her lungs) when she was 4, which caused her kidneys to stop working.
"We thought we're about to lose her," said mom Eva who is a Filipino. Angelica needed a kidney transplant, and Eva she didn't think twice about donating her kidney to save her daughter's life when she found out she was a match.
Until now, three years after the surgery, Angelica still visits the doctor every three months, she told 11Alive. But her medical issues couldn't and didn't stop her from practicing and perfecting her vocal prowess.
"We definitely did not have to push her. This is her passion. If she didn’t enjoy doing this, then she wouldn't be where she is today," her dad James told Radio & TV Talk blog. "The more she performs, the more confident she gets,” he added.
Before her stint in AGT, this charming little girl already had a pretty busy schedule. She has been performing at various events in the U.S., such as The Miss America 2017 pageant, the U.S. Open tennis finals in 2015, and at SunTrust Park before Atlanta Braves baseball game, to name a few.
More importantly, Angelica has been using her voice to raise awareness and funds for the hospital that help saved her life, Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. It was a no-brainer to say yes to traveling around the world to help other children. "I won’t forget my experience in my hospital because it's kind of like a centerpiece of my life," she expressed in a video for CMN hospitals.
Angelica, who’s soon to be a big sister, has her life on an upswing after surviving a medical scare. She has captured the globe’s attention now, and we’re excited to see more of her in the future. Who knows? Maybe she would get the puppy she wanted to get if she wins the singing reality TV show.