Born in the middle of a war zone a victim of chemical warfare and found by some nuns in a shoebox in a park, Emmanuel Kelly touched the hearts of people around the world with his moving performance of “Imagine” by John Lennon on The X Factor auditions.
When Emmanuel Kelly stepped onto the stage at an X Factor audition, nobody expected what happened next.
As his biography on his official website reads:
Emmanuel Kelly has always dreamed of becoming a professional recording artist. This inner spirit of determination and courage together with a beautiful voice and performance moved demanding judges and many of the 6000+ audience to tears and a standing ovation on The X Factor’s opening night on 29th September 2011. Emmanuel wowed judges Ronan Keating, Spice Girl Mel Brown, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Guy Sebastian with his heartfelt performance, Ronan Keating said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been as moved as I was by that performance ever!”
“Emmanuel has melted the hearts of millions around the world. Within days of his X Factor audition Emmanuel’s YouTube video received over 12 million views; in 6 months he generated an amazing 50 million hits, today Emmanuel is estimated to have over 100 million views all over YouTube,” according to his website.
Emmanuel’s rendition of Imagine even touched Yoko Ono so much that she tweeted “Thank you, Emmanuel. You sang beautifully! Thank you. John would have been proud of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Love, Yoko”.
You can watch this emotional and inspirational performance, below.