'America's Got Talent' Fan Favorite Robert Finley Is A Vietnam Vet With Fascinating Life

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Who Is Robert Finley? New Details On The AGT Favorite And Vietnam Vet

When you think about reality TV shows, chances are your first thought isn't "wow those people are insanely talented." Sure, there are plenty of competitions and somebody always comes out on top, but it takes a special sort of something for people to remember those winners after the dust has settled. 

Unless, of course, your name is Robert Finley and you're appearing on America's Got Talent in it's 14th season. Robert is already a fan favorite, and while this man may have miles on him, that doesn't mean he can't sing like a very soulful angel. Let's get to know Robert Finley a little bit better, shall we? Who is Robert Finley?

 

1. He's An Original

Robert Finley's first appearance on the show blew everyone away, from the show's judges to the audience who couldn't get enough. Not only is his voice deep and powerful and moving, but the guy actually has some pretty decent dance moves too. Okay, Robert! Get down with your bad self! Unlike other performers, Robert distinguished himself in other ways too.

The song he chose to sing was called "Get It While You Can" and it's one that he actually wrote himself in addition to performing it like the legend in the making that he is. “You’re a great inspiration and a great talent,” Howie Mandel swooned after hearing the man sing, and even the notoriously prickly Simon Cowell managed to compare Robert's voice TO AN ACTUAL FINE WINE. Damn, Finley! 

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2. Differently Abled

While many talent shows that take place on TV spend a lot of their time focusing on the pretty and the perfect, Robert has made an important contribution to the scene because he is partially blind (though still very pretty and in my eyes, perfect too:)). Robert shared with the folks at home that about four years ago he realized his sight was starting to fade away. 

Still, Robert is not one to let misfortune slow him down, something he has made clear time and time again. “But the bad thing, sometimes it brings out the best thing,” Robert said. “I began to play the music again. It made me reach inside to find myself. It’s like I’m 65 and I’m just coming alive. I’m finally living my childhood dream.”

3. Veteran And A Star

The first section of the America’s Got Talent season is usually dedicated to the audition process, and season 14 was no different in that respect. In fact, that section of the program has only just now wrapped up and the peformers taking the stage all seem very promising. That said, Robert definitely stands out from the crowd, particularly after his performance on July 9th. 

Because, at 65, Robert is one of the older performers taking the stage, he's got loads more experience, both in music and in life itself. Did you know that as soon as the guy turned into a legal adult on his 18th birthday that he joined the military? He actually wound up serving in Vietnam! Willingly! And when the war was over, Robert came home and started his family. Talk about a story. 

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4. He's Experienced

America's Got Talent is different in several ways from many of the other reality competition shows you're likely to see on almost every channel. One of the biggest ways is that is frequently features performers at different stages in their careers. Sure, some are newbies, but others like Robert have a world of experience with music.

In, in 2016, Robert actually released his first solo album, called, "Age Don't Mean A Thing", a pretty fitting message for this late-in-life star! Before he was focusing on become a solo recording star, Robert paid his dues too, working as the lead member of a gospel group that he started called Brother Finley and the Gospel Sisters. This is truly a man who is passionate about making music. 

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5. Celebs Love Him

Whether or not Robert has what it takes to make it all the way to the top of the competition, he's already a fan favorite and that's surely had a tremendous impact on his record sales. Imagine what sort off impact actually winning the whole kit and kaboodle would be for him. That said, Robert's already making connections in the industry that will take him far. 

Robert actually was paired up with Dan Auerbach, the Black Keys rocker to compose and record a totally original soundtrack for a graphic novel called Murder Ballads. It went so well that Robert released a second album which Dan co-wrote, cheekily called "Goin’ Platinum!," that was co-written by Dan.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. 

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