When Kechi Okwuchi took to the America's Got Talent stage during Tuesday's live quarter-finals, her emotional story, her undeniable talent and her astounding determination all played a role in making her performance the night's stand-out moment.
In a pre-taped package before the show, Kechi shared her journey with viewers and opened up about being the survivor of a plane crash in 2005, while she was still in high school, explaining how her persistence has allowed her to overcome the obstacles she's faced.
"Hopefully people can look at me and go, 'This is a fellow human being. She went through this and she came out on the other side.' Their injuries don't have to define them," the soft-spoken but determined singer shared.
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At her home in Houston, Texas, Kechi gave viewers a look at supportive letters written to her by the families of her school mates who didn't survive the crash. They were letters that encouraged Kechi to stay strong as she underwent numerous rounds of surgeries and medical procedures to save her life following the tragic accident.
"I've always felt a responsibility to the people that lost loved ones in that plane crash, and it pushes me to do all the things that I do," she shared. "I want to make them proud. I want them to see that this life that was saved that day was not saved in vain."
After performing twice earlier this season, the talented singer picked a song that seemed to speak volumes toward her own personal struggles -- Katy Perry's "By the Grace of God." The emotional ballad was the perfect showcase for her flawless voice, and she was brought to tears as she finished singing.
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While the judges unanimously showered the singer with praise for her voice and her spirit, Simon Cowell said it best when he told Kechi, "You are important. In these days and ages, people need people like you as an inspiration, and that's what you're doing."
The singer's hometown is currently in the midst of tragic flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey, and Kechi made sure to take time to share some words of hope and support for everyone struggling through the natural disaster.
"I pray that my performance gave them something positive to see," she said. "I'm not even sure If people in Houston can see this, but I pray that they can… and that they feel something positive and they feel strength."
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Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm, led to unprecedented flooding and has caused over $3 billion in property damage so far. There have been at least 19 confirmed flood-related deaths and there are reportedly 30-40 people still unaccounted for. The Houston Police Department alone has rescued more than 3,500 people from flood waters.
For more on how to help/donate to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, please click here.
To see if Kechi's touching performance earns her a spot in the semi-finals, tune in to the America's Got Talent results show on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.