Matt Mauser’s emotional performance moved the “America’s Got Talent” crowd to a standing ovation. Mauser is the widower of Christina Mauser, one of the nine people killed in the 2020 helicopter crash in which Kobe Bryant died in February of 2020.
In tribute to his wife, Mauser sang Phil Collins’ 1984 song, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).”
The 51-year-old singer shared his gripping backstory with the judges beforehand.
“I’m a singer, and I’m here because my wife,” he began, cracking with emotion. “And we’re both schoolteachers and we retired from teaching so that I could do the music full-time, and she got the opportunity to coach girls basketball with Kobe Bryant. But on Jan. 26, 2020, I lost my wife in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. Before Jan. 26, me and Christina lived this dreamy kind of life. We met in 2004, she saw me playing at this dive bar and I asked her out and we sat in my car and we talked about music.”
The Mausers were married for 15 years and they have three children, who joined Mauser for his audition.
“When she left that day she kissed me and she said ‘I love you.’ That was the last thing my wife ever said to me,” Mauser said, teary-eyed. “Your whole life changes in a second.”
The singer’s rousing performance easily wowed judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell, and moved him onto the next round of the television competition.
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