Keep the Kleenex handy.
Tonight’s live finale of “America’s Got Talent” includes performances by the top four acts of the season – who all have emotional back-stories.
Kehlani Parrish – the 16 year-old lead singer of POPLYFE – says she has recently reunited with her birth mother, after more than a decade of being shuffled from home to home.
“I am really glad that after my whole life, I finally get a chance to be with her,” Parrish says.
“A lot of kids don’t get a chance to be with their birth parents because that is just the way the world is now.”
The ‘AGT’ final four also includes:
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.: Frank Sinatra sound-alike who has been supporting his three children by washing cars at a Toyota dealership in West Virginia. At 19, Murphy says, he was homeless and thought he “was going to die.”
Silhouettes: A shadow dance group from Denver which features children battling juvenile diabetes, cystic fibrosis and a 3 year-old who is going blind.
Team Iluminate: A glow-in-the-dark dance troupe founded by cancer-survivor and Columbia University graduate Miral Kotb.
Parrish was just two when her father died.
“My mother had some ‘issues,’” she admits. “I’ve been switched around from home to home and I have always had that strange feeling of unwantedness.”
A high school junior from northern California, Parrish was raised in the San Francisco Bay area by various members of her extended family.
“They didn’t want me to be in the system,” she says. “I was as some point as a baby. And they didn’t want that. They wanted me to have family love. It takes a village to raise a family. And I have my whole village raising me.”
Her mother reappeared just weeks before Parrish and her five band-mates auditioned for ‘AGT.’”
“The fact that she jumped up as soon as she had the opportunity, showed me that she really does care and she wants to be the best mom she can be for me and my siblings,” she says.
Parrish is the breakout star of Poplyfe – which is produced and managed by Andre Wiggins of ‘90s R&B group Tony, Toni, Tone!
“There is no other act (in the finals) that will appeal to a wider audience,” judge Howie Mandel says.
Parrish became an instant fan favorite at the Atlanta auditions by refusing to take judge Piers Morgan’s advice and ditch her five band-mates.
“I don’t go without my brothers,” she said.
The circumstances of her upbringing have “proved to me that I can handle myself on my own,” Parrish says. “Part of being raised by multiple people is that you don’t get that stable environment that you need but it gives you a chance to know yourself.
“I had to learn a lot of thing by myself that most teenagers learn from their parents. But I really appreciate the rough times because it made me who I am now.”
All four acts will perform for the last time tonight at 9:00 PM on NBC