A father-daughter duo performing a magic trick, a comedian named Jordan Conley, and a singer-songwriter named Lily Meola were some of the contestants featuring in Season 17, Episode 5 of America's Got Talent.
Nicolas Ribs's digital wizardry and Jordan Conley's jokes left a lasting impression on the judges, Howie Mandel, Sofía Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell. But 27-year-old Lily Meola was the one to get the Golden Buzzer. Read on to learn more about her audition.
Lily Meola commemorated her late mom, Nancy Meola, with her 'AGT' audition.
Lily performed an original song, "Daydream," in Season 17, Episode 5 of AGT. As the Maui-born singer told the judges, the track holds a special place in her heart. She wrote it when things were going up, during a beautiful period in her life filled with wonder and joy.
As Lily explained, she came up with the idea for the song around the same time as she landed a record and a publishing deal. Her mother, Nancy Meola, was diagnosed with cancer in the 2010s. She became her full-time carer, sacrificing the record deal to spend more time with her. Nancy passed away in June 2020, per Rolling Stone.
"The song I'm going to do today is an original song. It's called 'Daydream,' and it's kind of evolved over the past couple of years, the meaning of it, for me," Lily said. "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 so beautiful. And I wanted other people to be able to feel that. And then my life flipped upside down."
"My mom was diagnosed with cancer, and I became her full-time caretaker. I lost my record deal during that. But, I think, maybe it was a bit of a blessing because it gave me some extra time to really be there for her," Lily said.
Lily Meola used music to work through the grief.
Lily's was discovered by country legend Willie Nelson in the 2010s.
They teamed up for the hit song, "Will You Remember Mine," which they performed together at the Farm Aid in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 2013. Lily soon became close friends with Willie's son, Lukas Nelson. Lukas has continued to give her notes over the years. Lily released her debut album, "They Say," in 2015. A few years later, her mom was diagnosed with cancer.
Here's what you should know about Lily Meola's family, including her late mom, Nancy Meola, and brother, Matt.
A beloved figure in the music industry, Nancy used to work as Shep Gordon's assistant. She also managed her kids' careers. Lily has worked hard to earn renown as a singer for quite some time. Meanwhile, Matt is a pro surfer and aerialist. He also plays music.
Catch new episodes of America's Got Talent Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.