Life has not been easy for Kechi Okwuchi.
At the age of 16, she was one of 109 people to go down in a plane crash over Nigeria in 2005. Only two people survived the crash. She was the only child out of her 60 classmates to survive.
She sustained third degree burns on 65 percent of her body, and doctors only gave her a 35 percent chance of survival.
Fourteen years later, on a stage before thousands, she proved herself not only a survivor but a singer — and a winner.
“They say that 99 percent of success is just showing up, you do so much more than show up,” judge Howie Mandel told her. “You’re more than a champion of singing and of talent, you are a champion of life.”
Okwuchi competed in the 2017 season of “America’s Got Talent.” She returned to the stage Monday to perform “You Are The Reason” by Callum Scott.
“I feel like I owe it to the kids that lost their lives…to live in exemplary ways,” she said in a taped interview before her performance. “Ways that wold make those we lost proud.”
Her performance prompted a standing ovation. Judge Simon Cowell told her that “he didn’t really like it that much.” After boos from the audience, he finished: “I actually loved it.”
Watch the touching performance in the video above.