Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui’s Lily Meola to return to AGT stage after Golden Buzzer performance

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AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — “Auditions” — Pictured: Lily Meola — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)


UPDATE: 5:30 p.m., Aug. 30, 2022

Maui’s Lily Meola performs Tuesday, Aug. 30 on America’s Got Talent. The shows airs in Hawaiʻi at 7 p.m., with voting ending on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 7 a.m. ET / 4 a.m. PT. Viewers can vote up to 10 times at the following direct LINK.

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Maui’s Lily Meola returns to the stage for the live show portion of America’s Got Talent. She’ll be in the fourth of five live shows, with the series returning on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

In June, she was the recipient of Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer, sending her straight to the live episodes, airing this month.


The 27-year-old singer/songwriter says her love of music “blossomed in the passenger seat of her mom’s car,” according to show publicists. Since the age of 11, Meola has been performing regularly at spots across the island including Stella Blues, Charley’s, Mulligan’s, and Café des Amis. That transitioned into events, weddings, and corporate events.

As she honed her talents, she was mentored by “super-producer” Bob Rock, who she credits with taking early interest in her music.

In the years that followed, Meola went on tour with country icon Willie Nelson, and also recorded Will You Remember Mine as part of his duets album, “To All The Girls,” and performed the song live at Farm Aid in 2014.

Her debut album, They Say, under Interscope, was never released by the major label, but it featured duets with Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, both of whom own homes on Maui. When it was released with no label in 2016, it did garner several Nā Hōkū Hanohano nominations.


According to AGT, Meola learned to write songs with Jackson Browne, and has shared the stage with Steven Tyler, Kris Kristofferson, Sammy Hagar, and Alice Cooper. She also co-wrote a single for Andra Day titled “Amen.”

As her talents were just taking flight, she let go of her personal dreams to focus on becoming a full-time caretaker for her mom who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  “I lost my record deal during that, but I think maybe it was a bit of a blessing because it gave me some extra time to really be there for her,” Meola said of her mother during her debut AGT performance. Her mother has since passed away.

Meola returned to the stage without much planning or discussion, performing her original song “Daydream.” Taking a little of her own advice, Meola sang with all of her heart… and a lump in her throat: “Darlin’ don’t quit your daydream / It’s the life that you’re making / It ain’t big enough if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you.”

This latest portion of the program narrows 55 acts down to 10, with two advancing each week into the final, both from viewer overnight votes.


Contestants will compete for the $1 million prize and the opportunity to perform at “America’s Got Talent Las Vegas Live” at the Luxor, Las Vegas.

In an Instagram post this week, Meola said she’s excited to return to the AGT stage for the semi-finals. She’s currently in Pasadena, Calif. and invited the public to call or text for updates to 1-808-215-6539.

“I’ll do my best to keep you updated,” she said in her IG video. “I also want to take this moment to thank everyone so much for the support. This has been such a wild, fun, exciting, interesting experience and I just seriously can’t thank you all enough for your support, and for the love, and messages–just everything. It really just means the world to me,” said Meola.

Golden Buzzer: Lily Meola’s original song “Daydream” earns Golden Buzzer from Heidi Klum. VC: AGT / YouTube.

For more on America’s Got Talent visit the show online at, on Facebook at, YouTube, Twitter #AGT, and Instagram at

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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