Twelve-year-old singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal was an early front-runner, and she was crowned the winner Wednesday.
VanderWaal sobbed as her name was announced, and judge Howie Mandel, who granted her entrance into the competition via the golden buzzer, rushed to the stage to hug her.
"You are on your way," Mandel told her. "I love you, you are so special."
The young singer, dubbed by judge Simon Cowell "the next Taylor Swift," began writing songs at 3 and used her 11th birthday money to buy a ukulele.