14-year-old covers Leslie Gore’s classic

When Reid Wilson, a 14-year-old singer from the heart of Alabama, took the stage, America’s got talent on stage his nerves were palpable.

But as soon as he started belting out Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit “You Don’t Own Me,” the stage fright disappeared, replaced by a voice so powerful and a presence so magnetic that it stunned the judges and audience.

“I’m definitely nervous, but I’m going to give it my all, sing my heart out and try not to miss a single note,” Wilson declared before his performance. And boy, did he disappoint!



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His soulful, gritty rendition of this classic showed off not only his incredible vocal range, but also his ability to pour his heart into every note.

The judges were clearly surprised by the unexpected song choice and Wilson’s undeniable talent.

Simon Cowell couldn’t help but admit, “We didn’t expect that.” Heidi Klum, visibly impressed, exclaimed, “I thought you were absolutely amazing. I loved it when you took the mic off (the stand) and gave a little more stage presence. Well done.”

Simon added that his parents must have good taste in music, to which Reid jokingly replied “no”, drawing laughter from the judges and audience.

Sofia Vergara, who initially worried about Wilson’s nerves, was impressed: “You were so nervous at first. I thought, ‘He’s not going to be able to put it all together,’ but you pulled it off and did it amazingly. It sounded spectacular from that point on.”

But it was Howie Mandel who had the strongest influence on Wilson’s performance.

A visibly moved Mandel shared: “I was thrilled because I was surprised. You know what? At this stage, dreams come true. Do you believe in dreams?”

When Wilson answered in the affirmative, Howie pressed the Gold Button, sending a shower of glittering confetti over Wilson and his proud mother, who ran on stage to hug her son in a moment of pure joy.

Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” was a bold choice for the young singer.

The song, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964, has been a feminist anthem for decades. Written by John Madara and David White, it showcased Gore’s powerful voice and became one of her signature hits.

Gore, already known for her hit “It’s My Party,” recorded “You Don’t Own Me” when she was just 17. It was later included on her album Lesley Gore sings about mixed hearts.

Behind the scenes, Mandel continued to marvel at Wilson’s talent.

“I did it because of the sound and who you are, it was nothing close to what I expected. You’re a huge talent,” he told the young singer, who was still trying to wrap his mind around that life-changing moment.

For Wilson, whose musical idol is none other than the legendary Aretha Franklin, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I would like to be the next superstar,” he said. “I sing at family gatherings every now and then, but nothing major.”

Now, armed with a Golden Button and a ticket to the live concerts, Wilson has a chance to make that dream a reality.

Watch Reid Wilson perform Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” on America’s got talent below.