So, America already has it’s first Golden Buzzer and the person who got it deserves every bit of that golden confetti shower.
We’re talking about Kodi Lee, the musical hero who despite being blind and autistic, managed to shock every judge on the table and receive the Golden Buzzer from Gabrielle Union. And now, he is the winner as well.
Terry Crews also made a tweet saying, “This child of God is a prodigy.”
Here is everything you need to know about Kodi Lee.
Kodi Lee Early Life: Age, Birthday, Bio
Kodi Lee was born on July 8, 1996, in Southern California. Kodi is currently 22 years old and about to turn 23 after his July 8 birthday this year.
He is the oldest of three children. His siblings are Derek and Kayla. Kodi attended the Elsinore High School
Lee was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, a visual disorder that left him blind. He also survived a life-saving surgery at just five days old due to health complications.
Then, at the age of four, Kodi diagnosed with autism, and this hit his family members like a truck. The could not believe what their little Kodi would do later in life.
But when Kodi’s mother Tina Lee saw that he sang along when music played, and he bulged his eye out, she knew he was an “Entertainer.”
His Teacher and Photographic Memory
Kodi has what people call ‘Photographic Memory,’ a rare condition that enables Kodi to recall any music after listening to it just once.
As for his musical skills, Kodi found a great teacher who never gave up on him. The person who gave Kodi piano lessons is Yiyi Ku.
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Yiyi Ku is a Taiwan born musician who grew up in New Zealand. She attended the University of Canterbury and received her Master of Music degree with Distinction in Piano Performance and Composition.
Thanks to her amazing piano lessons and Kodi’s extraordinary talent of learning things swiftly, he has already performed at a prestigious place like the Carnegie Hall; and that too twice.
Kodi Lee at the Carnegie Hall in New York City . (Instagram.com)
What Makes Kodi Special
Kodi Lee is an autistic musical prodigious savant
Kodi is officially among the 25 people (approx.) in the world who possess such extraordinary abilities.
He has a Photographic Memory. He can recall music after just one listen.
He played at the Carnegie Hall in New York City twice.
Kodi can play Jazz, R&B, Pop, and classics such as Chopin, Bach, Mozart.
As a man with autism, Kodi never let his health condition determine who it was meant to be. Before AGT exposure, Kodi already builds himself an audience.
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He previously performed globally, and before AGT audition, he played at different venues such as restaurants and other music events.
Lee uses his stage to influence and motivate people with a health condition and proves that anything is possible.
Despite his autism affected his hormones and how he processes emotions, Kodi expresses his desire to become a rock star.
His parents believe that because all of his toys made a sound to cope with his sight, it heightened his musical senses.
Moreover, Kodi is also an exceptional Tap Dancer and flaunts his skills on his Instagram account. Here is a video of him tapping magic to the floor.
Heck Yeah!!! Miss Sarah taught me part of this new dance in 30 mins 😎🕺💃❤️ @temeculadancecompany @agt #temecula #ilovetap #tapdanceteachers #5678 @agtauditions #danceteacher #taptap #tapfit #excercise #health #keeponmoving #ilovemyteacher #blind #autistic #musicalprodigioussavant #heckyeah #blindtapdancer
A post shared by Kodi Lee 🇺🇸🇰🇷 (@kodileerocks) on Mar 17, 2019 at 12:11pm PDT
Kodi Lee Personal Life
The musical genius Kodi Lee was born to mother Tina Lee and father Eric Lee.
He has two younger siblings Derek and Kayla who support him relentlessly and are very proud of what Kodi has achieved.
Kodi Lee mother Tina Lee, brother Derek Lee, sister Kayle Lee and father Eric Lee (Instagram.com)
Born in Southern California, Kodi also lived in Utah before his family later moved to Lake Elsinore.
At the moment, Kodi does not have a girlfriend but who needs one when you have a best friend that loves you more than anything.
Kodi Lee is bffs with Makayla Phillips; America’s Got Talent Season 13 semi-finalist. And FYI, she also won a Golden Buzzer.
Makayla and Kodi have been friends for many years now and perform several gigs together.
She calls him the “Love of my life” and no, they are not dating.
Makayla Phillips call Kodi “Love of my life.” (Instagram.com)
Right now, Makayla is among the people who vehemently support Kodi Lee and celebrate his achievement.
Kodi Lee Wins America's Got Talent (AGT)
After many rounds, Kodi Lee successfully made it to the finale of AGT and won a lot of hearts over the course of his journey. With a voice that got everyone goosebumps, his way was pretty clear to the Season 14 AGT throne.
And on 19th September, he did.
Kodi Lee won the Season 14 of AGT and claimed the massive $1 million prize money. Or did he?
It so happens that AGT prize money has terms and condition that they did not mention at first. While the $1 million tag seems a big amount, Lee won't become a millionaire right away. Instead, for Lee to pocket the $1 million prize money, according to terms and conditions, it will take him 40 years.
Even then, Kodi won't likely get the full million because of tax deduction. The prize money payout works in two ways. Either Kodi chooses to get paid over the course of 40 years on $25,000 annually. Inflation will also make sure that the millions worth by then, diminishes.
The other option is, if Kodi decides to take all payments at once, he's only getting about roughly 150k to 200k. We say roughly because tax has claims over it as well.
So, all in all, while Kodi has a bright future now as many career blocks are lifted because of the win. But his net worth won't likely change that much.