Richard has been an elementary school janitor in Terre Haute, Indiana for more than two decades, and the dude can flat-out sing! I first learned about Richard's talent in 2022 when I saw it on display on TikTok (you can see his original viral video further down).

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Two years later, I heard Richard's name (and voice) in a different TikTok promoting that he would be featured on the premiere episode of the new season of America's Got Talent. Since he was featured so prominently, I assumed that Richard would at least advance to the next round of the competition. Boy was I wrong...

To say that Richard impressed the AGT judges is a major understatement. He won the hearts and minds of the judges and everyone else in that theatre with his performance of "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. Heidi was so impressed that she gave Richard the Golden Buzzer, which means he gets to bypass the next few rounds of auditions and advance straight to the live shows. That's great news for Richard, but not so much for his fans, only because that means we have to wait a bit longer to see him perform again.

See the Performance That Started It All for Richard

The TikTok was recorded during a school assembly when Richard got up on stage rocking a pair of jeans, sneakers, a ball cap, and a stereotypically large set of keys hanging from his belt. He grabbed the microphone as "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey started to play. When you see/hear what followed, you will understand why the video went viral, and why I'm excited to see what happens on AGT.

@mdenehie #fyp #schooljanitors #blowhimup #blesshissoul #amazing ♬ To use this video in a commercial player or in b - Mariah Elizabeth Den

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I'm not sure the students could truly appreciate what they heard, but the adults in the crowd were impressed. Right after the first line of the song, you can hear someone near the camera say "Oh, God!". You can hear the surprise in her voice.

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