Boy Abandoned In A Shoebox As A Baby Stuns With 'Imagine' Audition

Boy Abandoned In A Shoebox As A Baby Stuns With 'Imagine' Audition

Watch this emotional audition of the song ‘Imagine’ performed by a boy who was abandoned in a shoebox as a baby.

17-year-old Emmanuel Kelly has big dreams. “I’m auditioning for X Factor, because the dream is to become a professional singer,” he says. And this teenager is not letting his traumatic past get in the way of going after what his heart desires.

Emmanuel was born in war-torn Iraq with no birth certificate, so he doesn’t know his actual birthday. “When I was originally found in Iraq in an orphanage, my mom found me, I was born with no birth certificate, no passport, nothing,” he shares.

“My story was that I was born in the middle of a war zone. My brother and I were found by the nuns in a box in the park, in a shoebox. They brought me to the orphanage. We’d hear shots, noises that we didn’t understand,” he recalls. “It was like looking at an angel when Mom, Moira Kelly, walked through the orphanage door. She brought us both to Australia for surgery originally. And then Mom fell in love with both of us. My hero would have to be my mother. She worked very hard, extremely hard, to change my life….and with my mother and my brother, I believe that I can do this.”

With his family there supporting him, Emmanuel confidently comes out on stage and performs ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon for his X Factor audition. As he sings, the audience is cheering him on as the judges look on in awe. Then some of them are even brought to tears by the performance!

“That’s my boy! That’s my boy!” his mom says off stage after Emmanuel’s performance while everyone in the room is giving him a standing ovation.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been moved as much as I was by that performance,” one of the judges remarks. "That was magnificent. Your courage, your bravery, is unbelievable.”

What a beautiful and heartfelt performance by Emmanuel Kelly!

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