Willie Nelson’s longtime family friend, Lily Meola, took the stage to audition for Season 17 of America’s Got Talent last night, and she was incredible.
The 27-year-old Hawaii native sang her beautiful original song, “Daydream,” which was released as part of a five-song EP earlier this year.
She told the judges a little bit about her background and the inspiration behind the song:
“The song I’m gonna do today is an original song that I wrote, it’s called ‘Daydream.’ It’s kinda of evolved over the past couple years, the meaning of it for me.
I wrote it at a time in my life when things were really beautiful, and I was essentially living my daydream. I had a major label record deal, I had a publishing deal, I had butterflies I was hatching, it was magical.
It was just so beautiful, and I wanted other people to be able to feel that. And so that’s where it originated.”
Right around that time, tragedy struck. Her mom, Nancy, was diagnosed with cancer, and Lily became her full-time caretaker and ended up losing her record deal:
“And then my life flipped upside down, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I became her full-time caretaker.
And I lost my record deal during that, but I think it was maybe a bit of a blessing because it gave me some extra time to really be there for her.”
Lily’s late mother, Nancy, was very close to Willie’s wife Annie D’Angelo, and Willie used to go with Annie and Nancy to watch Lily play at a local cafe some when she was a teenager.
When Lily was 20 years old, because she has such a fantastic voice, Willie asked her to sing on his 2013 duets album To All the Girls… on “Will You Remember Mine”:
Lily recalls being in love with music from a very young age, and remembered her mom always playing music in the car when she was growing up.
She got top marks from all the judges, including Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara, with Heidi saying:
“I don’t know what to say, I’m like, speechless, you know. Sometimes you have someone on the stage and you hear their voice, and just everything about you, you just light up. I see a light around you.
I don’t know, like, immediately I fell in love with you.”
She then got out her golden buzzer, which each judge gets one chance to use every season and automatically advances the act to the next round. Lily was stunned, and Heidi ran up on stage to give her a big hug and congratulate her.
After she got off the stage, Lily remarked that she knew her mom would be happy that she’s following her dreams in music:
“She’d be so mad at me if I wasn’t pursuing what I love, and ‘Daydream’ was one of her favorite songs.
So I think she’d be really happy, wherever she might be.”
I mean, if she’s good enough to sing with the red headed stranger, I don’t see how she doesn’t make it to the end of this competition…