Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

This deaf woman may not be able to hear herself - but her singing is inspiring

mandy harvey americas got talent video.jpg

For the past decade, Mandy Harvey has been unable to hear anything.

Appearing on America’s Got Talent, the 29-year-old explained that she had battled gradual hearing loss for most of her life – but, when she turned 18, she became completely deaf.

For a woman who had forever dreamed of becoming a singer, it was absolutely heart-breaking. Harvey, however, refused to let her hearing loss dictate her future.

Read more: 15 books that taught us to have courage and be kind

Relying on muscle memory, she used visual tuners to help her recapture her singing skills, which means that she has to take her shoes off when she performs, in order to better feel the vibrations.

“I feel the tempo,” Harvey revealed, “and the beat through the floor.”

Most importantly of all, Harvey had to learn to trust in her own abilities – especially when it came to stepping up on the America’s Got Talent stage and performing in front of Simon Cowell, a panel of judges, a studio audience and thousands of viewers watching on their televisions at home.

“I’m gonna sing a song that I wrote myself,” she told them all, her hands signing her words. “After I lost my hearing, I gave up […] but I want to do more with my life than just give up.”

Cue an absolutely mesmerizing rendition of her own song, aptly titled Try:

“There is no one for me to blame,” sang Harvey, pitching her voice perfectly alongside the accompaniment of her own instrument. “Because I know the only thing in my way is me.

“I don’t live the way I want to. That whole picture never came into view. But I’m tired of getting used to the day, so I will try.”

Read more: 10 scientifically proven signs you’re falling in love

As the audience wiped away tears, they leapt to their feet in a standing ovation – and a visibly impressed Cowell reached forward and pressed his golden buzzer.

“That was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen or heard,” he told Harvey, as the singer’s father rushed out from the wings to give his daughter a hug.

A video of her performance has since been shared on Facebook, racking up 513,000 likes, 42,000 comments and over half a million shares.

“I haven‘t cried out of pure joy in such a long time,” wrote one social media user. “She is beautiful, and my heart is happy.”

Another added: “I’ll never give up on anything again because of her. That was incredible.”

Mandy Harvey was overcome by the comments she received

Mandy Harvey was overcome by the comments she received

One avid viewer helpfully transcribed the lyrics of the song, which we’ve included below:

Try, by Mandy Harvey

I don't feel the way I used to.
The sky is much more grey than it is blue.
But one day I know I'll get through.
And I'll find my place again,
If I would try...If I would try.

There is no one for me to blame.
‘Cause I know the only thing in my way...is me.
I don't live the way I want to.
That whole picture never came in to view.
But I'm tired of getting used to the day.
So I will try. So I will try.

While most were inspired by Harvey’s song, some criticised her for ‘coasting’ through auditions with a ‘sob story’.

Responding to these trolls, one Facebook user wrote: “Just imagine not being able to hear yourself sing. Having no clue what is coming out of your mouth. She studied and learned how to feel vibrations and tones and TRUSTS her own pitch.”

Another added: “Even if her voice wasn't absolutely beautiful (which it is), and her song wasn't also fantastic (which it was), how about all of you try singing while being deaf and managing to not only sound on key which would be hard enough, but projects beautiful and controlled voice?

“I'm not one for sob stories but this was talent.”

Images: America’s Got Talent


reading to be brave.jpg

15 books that taught us to have courage and be kind

first dtaes.jpg

The reason this First Dates clip is racking up millions of views

richard angell.JPG

‘If gin and flirting is what offends attackers I'll do it more’


Sandi Toksvig’s shock Bake Off confession completely rocks our world

Can we get a “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING”, please?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Gossip Girl was supposed to have an entirely different ending

Good morning, Upper East siders…

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

How to use Instagram to boost your career (and land your dream job)

It’s time to make your Instagram account work as hard as you do…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Students disciplined for making rape joke during a charity fundraiser

The four teens spelled the word ‘rape’ with body paint

by Amy Swales
21 Sep 2017

Colin the Caterpillar has been given a cute Christmas makeover

We only just got over Halloween Colin – now Santa Colin is in town

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is conjuring up a seriously dark TV reboot

But who will play everyone’s favourite half-witch?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Elisabeth Moss isn’t done with powerful dramas about women’s rights

Call Jane is set to be as relevant for Trump's America as its 60s setting

by Amy Swales
20 Sep 2017

Why we all think we’re the least popular one in our group of friends

If you believe everyone’s hanging out without you, you’re not alone

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Why that Doctor Foster conversation is so incredibly important

So many people missed the point of this big reveal…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Sep 2017

What is panic disorder – and do you suffer from it?

Nadiya Hussain described it as a 'monster'

by Megan Murray
20 Sep 2017