"America's Got Talent" features Ball singer Ben Waites Tuesday night
In a YouTube segment of "America's Got Talent," Ben Waites' emotional rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" brought judge Sofia Vergara to tears and everyone in the audience to their feet.
"The message of this song is able to speak to people no matter their age, their race, their background," said Waites, originally from Ball, to explain why he chose to sing that song.
Waites now lives in Nashville where he is a Southern Gospel singer and vocal coach. He graduated from Louisiana College, now Louisiana Christian University, in 2010 with an interdisciplinary concentration of music, communications, and theater arts.
The episode featuring the 32-year-old Southern Gospel artist will air Tuesday night on NBC.
Judging from the his nationwide following on Facebook, many can't wait to see The Tioga High School alum perform either.
"My family will be watching…You are very well gifted in your voice and style…we are huge fans," posted Bart Krause to Waites on Facebook.
"I am so excited for you Ben!!!! Just another way to reach others for God's glory. I truly am blessed to know you and your precious family," posted Chris Gilmer.
His website, benwaites.com, says that Waites was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and is wheelchair bound but "Ben has never met a challenge he couldn't overcome."
It goes on to say that his grandfather, Jim Waites, introduced him to Southern Gospel. His grandfather sang with the Pine Ridge Quartet and Ben Waites often sang tenor as a featured guest artist.