When Archie Williams stepped up onto the stage of “America’s Got Talent” (AGT), nobody could have imagined the painful story he had to tell.
The 60 year old was imprisoned for life for a crime he didn’t commit in Angola prison, Louisiana, one of the most brutal jails in the nation.
He was convicted for the rape and murder of a woman in her home in 1982 and told he would die in jail, but DNA evidence freed him more than three decades later.
“We had a choice whether to be strong or weak because you would be tested…it was like a nightmare. Freedom is of the mind, I went to prison but I never let my mind go to prison,” Archie told host Terry Crews.
“I watched ‘America’s Got Talent’ in prison and I would visualize myself being there, always desired to be on a stage like this and now I’m here, thank god. I know this is my chance of a lifetime.
The judges were shocked by his story.
“I’m so sorry you had to go through what you went through but thank god the right thing happened and you’re out,” Simon Cowell said to cheers from the 3,000 plus crowd.
For his audition Archie sings the George Michael and Elton John hit ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me’, leaving hardly a dry eye in the house.
Judge and supermodel Heidi Klum said after: “I don’t cry for a whole lot of things but that did it to me…that was very powerful.”
Judge Sofia Vergara said: “Even though you did 37 years it didn’t break you, I can picture you watching the show, hoping…and now you’re here and we love you.”
It was four definite yeses from the judges sending Archie to the next round.
‘The strength to survive’
Simon, who told Archie he had a really good voice, shared the preview clip of Archie’s audition on Twitter writing: “This is Archie Williams. I will never forget this audition for the rest of my life. And I’ll never listen to this song in the same way ever again.”
Hundreds of thousands of people responded to Simon’s tweet with one woman writing: “My heart just felt a myriad of emotions, breathlessly watching this, unable to even begin to imagine the experience & the strength to survive.”
I cannot begin to imagine what Archie has had to endure over the last 37 years, his life taken away from him; an innocent man.
Please share so more AGT fans can support this incredible man and his singing dream.