Carmen Carter came to “America’s Got Talent” to prove a point — that no matter a singer’s age or size, their voice is the only thing that should matter. “You hear my voice, but you never know my name,” said the 55-year-old who works as a full-time background artist. When Carmen was starting out in the music business she was told she was “too fat,” which is why she slipped into the background for the rest of her career. During Tuesday night’s audition, Carmen stood front and center and belted out a cover of INXS‘s “Never Tear Us Apart,” quickly earning herself four “yes” votes from the “AGT” judges. Watch her performance video above and then read the judges’ comments below.
Gabrielle Union: “Hallelujah! Your voice is a gift and a blessing and you are a star. Nobody will ever put baby in a corner ever again. Thank you.”
Julianne Hough: “I’m a big believer in artistry. It’s not just about hitting those notes. It’s about connecting to the people that are out here. And you know what? Nobody will be forgetting your name.”
Howie Mandel: “I cannot believe that it has taken you this long to come twenty feet. You’re beautiful and don’t change anything about yourself.”
Simon Cowell: “There has never been a person who has ever bought a record they love based on how old or how big the artist is. You didn’t come out here as a victim. You came out here to prove a point. And 4,000 people gave you a standing ovation. I think you have an amazing voice — amazing. I love you.”
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty wrote the following about the performance: “When Carmen Carter took the stage for her audition things quickly took an emotional turn when the judges asked why she’s remained a background singer for so long. In her past she was told by a record executive that she was ‘too big’ to be a lead singer and it killed her confidence from that point forward. Her audition of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS blew the roof off the building in a major way. The judges were on their feet with the rest of the audience and sang her praises in their critiques. And so it was a unanimous YES from all four to send her through!”