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.
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!”
His bio goes on to detail his rough beginnings:
Emmanuel was born into war torn Iraq and abandoned by his parents as a baby, he was raised at an orphanage ran by the Mother Theresa nuns, before being rescued by his now mum Moira Kelly and brought to Australia for life changing surgery. Over the last 14 years being in Australia Emmanuel has had over 6 surgeries and has had to step over huge hurdles to try and achieve his goals. he has always had his eyes set on huge dreams. In his words: “You have to dream to achieve the greatest goals in life.”
You can watch this emotional and inspirational performance, below, which received over 12 million views within days of his 2011 appearance on X-Factor. As his bio notes, within “6 months he generated an amazing 50 million hits, today Emmanuel is estimated to have over 100 million views all over YouTube.”