His neck is covered in tattoos, and his ears are adorned with gauged earrings, yet Johnny Shelton’s seemingly rough exterior gets stripped away the moment we hear his voice and his story. Johnny came onto the America’s Got Talent stage to perform a song about love that he wrote for his son. When the audience hears this sweet detail of his act, they immediately exhale with “aww”s. That’s not the only personal detail Mr. Shelton had for them, however.
Before he starts, he informs the audience of why his son isn’t at daddy’s performance. On his fifth birthday, Johnny’s son died of rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that develops from the connective tissues in the body. The “aww”s quickly turned into gasps as the weight of Johnny’s tragedy levels the crowd like a hammer. Then he begins.
Every string that’s plucked and every note that’s sung seems to have an emotion attached to it that resonates through his son spirit, who I’m sure was smiling from up above the from start to finish. He titled the song “That’s Love,” and its clear through his words and expressions that he knows that definition. He completes the song and gets a rousing ovation from the fans and the judges alike. An ovation he duly deserved.
We here at SFG love sharing stories of triumph over tragedy. Johnny Shelton has suffered a great tragedy in his life, but his musical triumphs will ensure that the memory of his loving son will live on forever. Please watch Johnny’s original song “That’s Love,” and let us know what you thought about it in the comments below. Spread his message of love if you liked his performance as much as we did.