Kechi Okwuchi boarded an airplane with 60 of her classmates from college when she was just a teen. Not long after takeoff, the plane fell from the sky. That was the last time Kechi would ever see her classmates. She and only one other person out of 107 passengers emerged as survivors.
Though she has faced far more than anyone could ever imagine, her beauty radiates to all those around her.
As she faced a long road to recovery, her saving grace was her mother and music. Her mom never left her side and sang constantly to her, inspiring Kechi. Little did they know those hours of music would play off in a way they could have never imagined.
"The next day and the next day, I remember my mom singing to me. I had no idea I'd one day be standing on the stage of America's Got Talent and singing."
Kechi was a finalist on the 12th season of America's Got Talent in 2017, where the judges and the crowd fell in love with not just her and her story, but also her voice. Simon Cowell was incredibly outspoken about her.
"You deserve a place here tonight, not just based upon your story, but based upon your talent."
Kechi confessed to America's Got Talent that "hearing those words from Simon changed my life."
America's Got Talent invited Kechi to compete on The Champions, a special episode where past winners and finalists compete against each other, the best of the best. She performed an amazingly powerful and soul-stirring rendition of Calum Scott's "You Are The Reason."
Her beautiful dress sparkled as brightly as her personality. Her performance was simply as stunning as she was.
At the end of her breathtaking solo, the judges leaped to their feet as did the crowd. Howie Mandell proclaimed her a "champion of life" while Heidi Klum added that she looked beautiful and sounded beautiful.
Mel B shared how much she loved Kechi's performance and her, but Simon Cowell heard a cacophony of boos with what he first said.
"I'm going to be honest with you. I didn't really like it that much."
Then he shouted loudly above all the boos, "I actually loved it!"
Cowell then reached over and hit the coveted Golden Buzzer, causing Kechi to burst into tears. She glanced over at her mother who swiped at her tears, her head lowered as she awash with emotion.
"My one regret was I wasn't able to give her the Golden Buzzer. You want to know what a champion is? This is a champion."