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NBC Insider America's Got Talent

How Cakra Khan’s “Unique and Sexy” Voice Got 4 Yes Votes from the AGT Judges

Halted mid-audition by a Judge, Indonesian singer Cakra Khan started over with a new song and turned a music misstep into a triumph.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

For vocalists, choosing a song that best shows off their voice is key to success.

How to Watch

Watch America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

On America’s Got Talent, singer Cakra Khan faced that fact when Judge Simon Cowell halted him mid-Audition. “Great voice,” said Simon. “I didn’t like the track. Did you bring another song with you?”

Cakra had indeed. It was a song his father “used to play all the time” before he went to school.

Cakra began again and gave a master class in how to recover from a music misstep — all the way to four enthusiastic Yes votes.

What songs did Cakra Khan sing during his AGT audition?

Cakra Khan performs on the America's Got Talent Stage

Cakra led with “Make It Rain,” a bluesy rock song by the Northern Irish musician Foy Vance that was popularized by Ed Sheeren’s cover version.

Shot through with emotion, it begins, “Oh when the sins of my father weigh down in my soul.” Less than a minute into Cakra’s gutsy performance, which the audience was into, Simon raised his hand as a signal to stop.

After the reset by Simon, Cakra shifted gears and genres.

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Before he performed the reggae classic “No Woman, No Cry,” he said, “I grew up with Bob Marley.”

 In the mid-1970s, the song was a breakthrough for Marley. On AGT, it was the perfect showcase for Cakra.

Who is Cakra Khan?

Cakra is a 31-year-old singer and songwriter from Indonesia. He’s been singing since he was a child and started writing songs when he was 10, according to his bio.

After gaining attention in a 2010 singing competition, he released his first single a year later. He’s been performing and making strides ever since. “I love blues,” he told Judge Heidi Klum. “I love soul music.”

He also loves animals. When Heidi asked Cakra what he’d do with the million-dollar prize, he said, “I want to have an animal shelter.”

AGT Judges react to Cakra Khan

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Heidi Klum: “You have a very unique, very sexy, very raspy voice. You do have a voice that really stands out, that you will not forget. It's very very special.”

Simon Cowell: “It’s so rare to hear voices like that. The second song and getting to know you makes you more interesting. It makes me feel like you've more of an artist. I absolutely love your voice. Love it.”

Sofia Vergara: “It was so special to hear you sing that. You made it all yours. That voice of yours is spectacular.”

Howie Mandel: “A very memorable, unique voice. Everybody was on their feet and we could feel the emotion. You're amazing.”

In the end it was unanimous. The Judges handed out four Yes votes.

Watch America's Got Talent, airing Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC, and streaming the following day on Peacock.