Watch 14-Year-Old’s Powerful Cover of Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’ on ‘America’s Got Talent’

When Reid Wilson, a 14-year-old singer from the heart of Alabama, stepped onto the America’s Got Talent stage, his nerves were palpable.

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

“I am definitely nervous, but I am going to put my all into this and sing my heart out and try not to miss a note,” Wilson declared before his performance. And boy, did he deliver!

His soulful, gritty rendition of the classic tune showcased not only his incredible vocal range but also his ability to pour his heart into every note.

The judges were clearly taken aback by Wilson’s unexpected song choice and undeniable talent.

Simon Cowell couldn’t help but admit, “We weren’t expecting that.” Heidi Klum, visibly impressed, gushed, “I think you’re absolutely incredible. I loved 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 musical taste, to which Reid quipped “no,” getting a laugh from the judges and the audience.

Sofia Vergara, who had initially been concerned about Wilson’s nerves, was thoroughly impressed: “You were so nervous at the beginning. I was, ‘He’s not going to be able to put his stuff together,’ but you did, and you did amazingly. It sounded spectacular from here.”

But it was Howie Mandel who had the most profound reaction to Wilson’s performance.

Visibly moved, Mandel shared, “I was bowled over because I was surprised. You know what? That stage is where dreams come true. Do you believe in dreams?”

When Wilson answered affirmatively, Howie pressed the Golden Buzzer, sending a shower of glittering confetti raining down on Wilson and his proud mother, who had rushed onto the stage to embrace 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 peaked at 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 famous for her hit song “It’s My Party,” recorded “You Don’t Own Me” when she was only 17 years old. It was later featured on her album Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts.

Backstage, Mandel couldn’t stop raving about Wilson’s raw talent.

“I did it because of the sound and who you are was nothing close to anything I was expecting. You are a big talent,” he told the young singer, who was still trying to wrap his head around this life-changing moment.

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

“I would love to be the next superstar,” he confessed. “I sing at family gatherings every now and then but nothing big.”

Now, armed with a Golden Buzzer and a ticket to the live shows, Wilson has the 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.