13-year-old Afghan refugee Abu gave the most beautiful rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” on The Voice Global. The youngster escaped from war-torn Afghanistan and moved to Belgium, where he wowed the judges with his passionate audition.
Abu sings with such deep sincerity and his delivery lends the ballad a gravitas which seems beyond his years. Not to mention Celine Dion is known for incredibly difficult vocal parts, but Abu just slays it and nails all the high notes with a honey smooth delivery. The judges barely let him get into the first word of the second line of the song before all three of them turn their chairs. Check out Abu’s audition below.
Abu had his own reasons for choosing the Celine Dion hit, which was famously featured as the theme in the blockbuster Titanic. The teen said he saw a connection between the characters in the film and his own story, saying “the people on the Titanic were looking for a new life in a boat going to another country. I think this is very sad. I want to show that I also fled like that.”
Judges Josje Hulsman, Laura Tesoro and Sean Dhondt all turned their chairs for Abu at almost the same moment, and the look of joy on his face when they did was really a sight to see. The judges then sat spellbound by Abu’s performance and were particularly amazed when his voice really soared at the iconic key change and the young singer hit all the big notes like a seasoned pro. You can watch Abu’s take on Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” in the finale of the show below.
Abu’s version of “Earth Song” again showcases his ability to just sing like a bird, as well as his skill in translating the emotions of the song in such a moving way. In the finale performance the teen was backed up by a nine-piece choir, which was a perfect accompaniment to lift the arrangement to the next level.
Judge Laura was a big fan of Abu’s performance, saying “I have goosebumps all over!”, while Sean commented “You’re making a grown guy cry, thank you. I wanted to sit front row for this performance.”
Abu’s audition got a big reception online, with 41 million viewers tuning in to watch him sing. This made his audition the second-most viewed video on the entire YouTube channel for the Belgium version of the show. His take on “Earth Song” was also quite popular, gaining 4.7 million views on YouTube.
Music lovers chimed in en masse in the comments with warm words such as “This is honestly the best male version of this song I have ever heard” and “I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this. His voice is so soothing and powerful and melodious. He is so talented.