A teenage singing star has sailed through to the live shows of the hit TV programme America’s Got Talent after impressing a panel of celebrity judges.
Courtney Hadwin, 13, has appeared on the American version of the TV show which showcases the various talents of the public.
Courtney, from Hesleden, auditioned in front of stars Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel, blowing them away with her powerful voice.
The youngster appeared quite nervous when talking to the judges before her performance but came into her element when she started singing Otis Redding classic Hard to Handle.
Judges said they were impressed by her talent with Judge Simon Cowell said she was like a lion on the stage.
Fellow judge Howie Mandel was also blown away by Courtney, describing her as being like someone from a different era, before he pressed the Golden Buzzer - to signal that she has made through to the live shows in the competition.
In a post on her Facebook page Courtney Hadwin said: "I didn't know what to expect when I auditioned for America's Got Talent but the Golden Buzzer was more than I ever could have dreamed of.
"Thank you so much Howie Mandel I am so happy and can't thank you enough."
The video of her audition has been viewed 16 million times.
The show first aired on NBC on Tuesday, May 29 and in the run up, Courtney could be seen on the advertising trailer.
The show, hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks, is on the lookout for acts of all ages, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists and impressionists, who are all vying to win America’s hearts and $1 million.
Courtney, pupil at The Academy at Shotton Hall, has been signing for a number of years, after taking singing lessons.
She won the title of the Mail’s Performer of the Year at the Best of Hartlepool Awards last year.
And the young talent is no stranger to the limelight of TV, having already stared in the ITV’s The Voice Kids last year.
Courtney made it to the final of the show after being put forward by judge Danny Jones, but narrowly missed out on the title, which was won by Jess Folley, one of rival judge Pixie Lott’s choices.
Contestants competed to bag a family holiday to Disneyland and £30,000 towards their musical education.
But despite missing out on the title, Courtney’s performances on the show earned her a string of rave reviews from a new army of fans on social media.
Since then, the young talent has continued to make a name for herself in the region, appearing on stage at the of Waterfront Festival held at Jackson’s Wharf last year.
The teen also appeared as part of the South Tyneside Festival summer concert line up in Bents Park in South Shields in July last year where she entertained more than 18,000 people.
The schoolgirl was supporting music legends Sister Sledge at the annual event, which saw her manage to get the crowd on their feet during her energetic three-song set.