Madison Taylor Baez is proof that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
An 11-year-old Yorba Linda, CA. native, Baez was plucked out of the audience and handed a spot on America’s Got Talent.
The youngster has dreamed about this moment since she was four, her dad explained at the top. “Someday, somehow you’ll be on the show,” he would tell her.
“I’m the biggest fan there can be of America’s Got Talent,” she said with tears in her eyes in a prerecorded bit that aired Tuesday night (June 7). “And here I am.”
The moment arrived when, before the show, the mic was passed around the audience. When it reached her, Maddie confidently belted out “Amazing Grace.”
And here we are.
On Simon Cowell’s suggestion, Maddie auditioned. On the spot, with no backing music, and with tears streaming down her face, the young singer found her zone and hit “Amazing Grace” with more acrobatics than a Cirque du Soleil show.
The judges made the right call.
Those emotions, we later discovered, can’t simply be attributed to an AGT dream come true. Maddie’s dad Chris has been battling cancer for the past nine years, an illness that has reached stage-four. She honed her vocal talents by singing to him in hospital.
When asked how she might spend the $1 million prize, she explained, “I would help him with that.”
Before the four judges could vote, Howie Mandel changed the course of her young life by slamming the Golden Buzzer. Cue golden confetti, more tears and hugs all around as Maddie cruises into the live rounds.
Lollapalooza is making history with this year’s festival, as J-Hope of BTS is set to headline the main stage on Sunday (July 31). The performance marks the first South Korean artist to headline a main stage at a major U.S. festival.
J-Hope is replacing Doja Cat on the lineup, as the “Woman” singer announced in May that a medical issue with her tonsils requiring surgery will sideline her planned tour with The Weeknd and festival dates this summer. “Hi guys. I wanted you to hear it from me first,” she started the message, with white text over a background. “Unfortunately I have to have surgery on my tonsils asap. The surgery is routine but the recovery is going to take awhile due to swelling. That means I have to cancel my festival run this summer as well as The Weeknd tour. I feel horrible about this but can’t wait for this to heal and get back to making music and create an experience for y’all.”
Additionally, TOMORROW X TOGETHER will be performing at the four-day event, marking their United States festival debut. The group is fresh off the release of their new project, Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child, which scored TOMORROW X TOGETHER its third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated May 28).
Lollapalooza is set to take over Chicago’s Grant Park from July 28 to July 31. Four-day and one-day General Admission, GA+, VIP and Platinum Tickets, along with Destination Experience Hotel Packages are available here. Kids 10 and under get in free with a ticketed adult.
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