Country singer Brody Ray brought Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel to a standing ovation on American’s Got Talent. Before his performance, Ray told the panel that he chose to perform the song “Stand in the Light” by Jordan Smith because it applies to his life, “overcoming struggles and battles.”
“What is the struggle that you’ve overcome,” asked Howie Mandel.
“I actually was born female. I’m transgender,” replied Ray.
The show then played a background clip of Ray’s childhood and transition.
“Inside, I was a man, a boy. I was never quite complete as a person until I started my physical transformation to male in 2010, finally. I started to look like the man I always had felt on the inside. It was the start of my life. And now that I’m fully transitioned, people are seeing me as to who I truly am. I’m ready to be Brody.”
Ray’s performance brought the audience to its feet, and brought him to tears.
“It’s been a long road to get here,” said Ray.
“Actually right now you’re standing in the light,” said Howie Mandel.
Added Simon Cowell: “You are inspirational. I think for you it’s really important to start singing your own material. I think you could really be a force to be reckoned with.”