‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 14: Guest Judge Brad Paisley Gives Golden Buzzer to Young Singer-Songwriter

America’s Got Talent Season 14 judges have finished auditioning acts, and are now making cuts. They have the difficult task of eliminating talents they believe are not million-dollar acts. In Judge Cuts 1, 18 acts battle it out for only seven spots in the Live Shows.

AGT welcomed three-time Grammy Award winner Brad Paisley to the judging panel for Season 14 Episode 8, Judge Cuts. A few acts failed to impress the country music superstar, namely the “Tequila” karaoke singer, Andy, and the “magician,” Jecko. However, several talents wowed him, including mind-reading The Sentimentalists and strong acrobats, the Messoudi Brothers.

One young singer-songwriter impressed him the most, California native Sophie Pecora, and he gave her the Golden Buzzer. The 15-year-old is admittedly shy but becomes a different person when a guitar is in her hands. Her ultimate dream is to tour the world singing her own songs. Because Paisley awarded her the Golden Buzzer, she is headed straight to the Live Shows, another step closer to her aspirations. Keep reading to learn more about Sophie Pecora!

America's Got Talent Season 14 Brad Paisley
Musician Brad Paisley | Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Sophie Pecora’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 14 Audition

She auditioned on the AGT Season 14 premiere on May 28, 2019. Before Pecora took the stage, she talked about having difficulties making friends as a quiet person. Therefore, she began writing songs and posting videos on YouTube. In a bold move, the singer-songwriter performed an original song called “7th Grade.” The young singer wrote the song as a 14-year-old when she struggled with bullies.

She wowed the judges with Gabrielle Union saying she her performance held everyone “captive.” Howie Mandel agreed, calling the singer’s song “real” and “wonderful.” Simon Cowell followed suit, telling Pecora he “likes her a lot” and praised her delivery of the song. Every judge gave the inspiring songwriter a thumbs up to move on to Judge Cuts.

Sophie Pecora wins Golden Buzzer from Brad Paisley

The songwriter returned for her second performance on America’s Got Talent Season 14 Episode 8. She chose to present another original song, this one titled, “Misfits.” Her song followed the same theme as her first single as she sang about bullying and the importance of accepting her “rad” talents. The young singer sang the chorus and rapped the verse while playing the guitar, showing off her exceptional skills.

All the judges praised the 15-year-old’s performance, and Cowell gave her a little fatherly advice. He told the inspiring singer she should end the song with “and I don’t listen to you anymore” because it’s important to know what bullies say doesn’t matter. Brad Paisley, especially touched by Pecora’s story and song, told her he felt like he already knew her “from that one song.”

The country singer agreed with Cowell and explained that kids do need to understand the difficulties they face in high school don’t mean anything in the long run. Paisley then said, “Yeah, I’m doing it” and slammed his hand down on the Golden Buzzer, sending the singer-songwriter to the Live Shows.

Watch America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8 P.M. EST on NBC!