Before ‘America’s Got Talent’: The Time Dee Dee Simon’s Singing Caused a Prison Riot

Before she wowed on America’s Got Talent, Dee Dee Simon shared an interesting story with the judges and the audience. Apparently, her singing once caused a prison riot, and she explained the details for people watching.

Videos by American Songwriter

Dee Dee introduced herself, sharing that she is a registered nurse at San Quentin State Prison and has been for 19 years. Howie Mandel asked if the prisoners have ever heard her sing, and Dee Dee revealed that “When I first got there, after a sang a song, a riot broke out.”

She continued, “Then I had to triage everybody”—which is the act of assessing people for injuries—”So I waited all these years, and then they asked me again. I just [sang at the prison] two months ago and it was peace.”

Dee Dee also revealed that she hadn’t told anyone at work that she was auditioning for America’s Got Talent. She only told her family. When Simon Cowell asked what brought her to the show this year, she simply replied, “Destiny.” She then elaborated, “I don’t see myself any place else but here right now.”

When asked for her “big dream,” she replied, “There’s always been this door and I never get to go through it because of something. So my big dream is to make that door [open] and walk through it.”

[RELATED: Is There a New Episode of ‘America’s Got Talent’ Tonight, June 11, 2024? How to Watch]

Simon Cowell Has Been Thoroughly Impressed on This Season of America’s Got Talent

Simon Cowell burst onto the scene as an acerbic and sometimes overly critical judge of American Idol, but now that he’s found a home on America’s Got Talent, his infamous attitude has softened a bit. He’s no longer wary of giving praise when it’s due, and he proved that in this recent season of AGT. Cowell has continually been impressed by the auditions that have come through lately.

One such audition was R&B singer-songwriter Liv Warfield, who earned applause and praise from Cowell. At one point, he got the audience to clap along to Warfield’s performance as she flexed her vocal prowess.

Additionally, Cowell heaped praise on a janitor from Indiana who sang Journey’s hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Once Richard Goodall finished his performance, Cowell notably uttered, “Richard, you’re my hero.” High praise from the judge who used to bring contestants to tears during the early days of American Idol.

Featured Image by Greg Gayne/NBC

Leave a Reply

Lainey Wilson

Lainey Wilson Reveals the Bon Jovi Hand-Written Letter That She Calls “One of the Coolest Moments I’ve Had”

On This Day: “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones Hit No. 1