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A teary Julianne Hough awards a golden buzzer to a 12-year-old Broadway fan on 'America's Got Talent'

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"America's Got Talent" judge Julianne Hough brought 12-year-old aspiring Broadway star Luke Islam to tears by awarding him the golden buzzer.

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 1:00 PM
Updated: Jul 11, 2019 1:00 PM

A 12-year-old Broadway fanatic earned the ultimate accolade from "America's Got Talent" judge Julianne Hough: a golden buzzer.

Luke Islam of Garden City, New York, is headed straight to the show's live episodes toward the end of the season. He wowed viewers with his soulful rendition of "She Used to Be Mine," from the Sara Bareilles-penned musical "Waitress."

With a voice mature beyond his years, he soared through challenging riffs in a performance that brought the audience and all four judges to their feet. Even noted curmudgeon Simon Cowell cracked a smile as Islam conquered the ballad's high notes.

Ahead of the performance, Luke admitted to Hough that she was his favorite judge, as he'd followed her dance career with her brother, Derek.

Hough wiped away tears after his performance, praising the "essence inside [him]."

"I believe that not only are you going to become a star and get your dream to come true, but I don't think you need to wait that much longer because..."

She smashed the buzzer and Luke fell to the stage, crying as confetti rained down around him.

"I can't believe it," he told host Terry Crews. "I never expected something like this to happen my whole life."

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