AMERICA’S Got Talent fans were left in tears as widower of a victim from the Kobe Bryant crash, Matt Mauser, stunned in an emotional audition.
The school teacher-turned-singer began to cry as he explained to the judges that he lost his wife, Christina Mauser, in the helicopter accident that killed nine people – including the NBA star and his 12-year-old daughter, Gigi.
Matt Mauser broke down in tears as he performed on AGT after his wife’s death
Christina and Matt Mauser were married for 15 years before she passed away in 2020Credit: Facebook
Kobe Bryant also died in the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of eight othersCredit: AFP
As Matt stepped on stage, judge Simon Cowell, 61, asked why he decided to try out for the NBC talent competition.
Already appearing emotional, the dad-of-three responded: “I’m a singer and I’m here because my wife and I were both school teachers.
“And we retired from teaching so I could do music full time and she got the opportunity to coach women’s basketball with Kobe Bryant.
“But on January 26 of 2020, I lost my wife in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.
“If I had it my way, I’d have my wife here and I’d be supporting her. It’s been a rough year but here I am.”
Matt belted out the classic Phil Collins ballad, Against All OddsCredit: NBC
The performer said that he acted as though he was ‘singing to his wife’Credit: NBC
Matt was so emotional that he could barely finish the songCredit: NBC
He said that he went on the show to “show his children that this grief does not define their family.”
The rest of the panel – Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara – looked shocked as Simon said: “I am so sorry.”
Matt belted out the classic Phil Collins ballad, Against All Odds, and by the end of the track, he was so overcome with emotion he could barely sing.
All four judges were impressed and gave the Orange County native a standing ovation.
The singing hopeful got a “yes” from each of the A-list critics and his three children ran out from the side of the stage to give their a big hug.
Simon Cowell and the rest of the panel gave Matt a standing ovationCredit: NBC
Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum joined in giving Matt four yesesCredit: NBC
Matt and Christina’s three children proudly watched their dad on stageCredit: NBC
AGT fans were equally as moved as the Mauser family – with many exclaiming they had “chills” from the performance.
One person wrote: “Wow. Chill bumps, watching #AGT. “Our grief is not going to define who we are.” What a great song and special family. Matt Mauser brought down the house. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)”
“I am crying. I know Kobe Bryant and his daughter died that day, but people forget about the other 7 people who died. But their families haven’t.
“I felt all of Matt Mauser’s feelings and know he was singing to his wife Christina Mauser. Beautiful job,” another viewer wrote.
A third said: “I’m in tears right now #AGT Yes standing o for Matt!!”
Fans were also ‘in tears’ due to Matt and Christina’s heartbreaking storyCredit: Facebook
“Now that was filled with so much emotion there! Matt should really be proud of himself for that, while doing this for his kids as well,” a fourth gushed.
While one more cried: “I’m crying already and the audition hasn’t even started. Matt, I’m so sorry you lost your wife in the helicopter crash. I know she’s looking down and cheering you on at your audition.”
On January 26, 2020, the world mourned as a helicopter crashed into a hillside near Calabasas, California and killed Christina, the NBA Hall Of Famer, his daughter Gianna, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, and the pilot Ara Zobayan.
Christina, 38, coached Kobe’s youth basketball star player daughter for the Los Angeles Lady Mamba team, which the former LA Lakers player founded in 2018.
Christina was a basketball coach that worked with Kobe and his daughter GigiCredit: Mamba Sports Academy
Kobe Bryant and his 12-year-old daughter, Gigi, were killed in the helicopter crash last yearCredit: Getty
After Christina’s devastating passing, the California native’s husband Matt said his family have been left “devastated by the news”.
Matt shared the heartbreaking message on Facebook that read: “My kids and I are devastated.
“We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”
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