Who was Matt Mauser's wife?

A CONTESTANT on America's Got Talent stopped the hearts and left the judging panelist in tears during his musical performance.

On Tuesday, July 6, contestant Matt Mauser left not only the judges in tears – but the audience as well.

Who was Matt Mauser's wife?

Mauser's wife, Christina, one of the nine victims that died in the January 26, 2020 helicopter crash that included legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant.

Mauser and his wife lived a "dreamy life" before her tragic death.

The couple met in 2004 at one of his "dive bar" gigs, and Christina soon became his "greatest supporter."

The two were married for 15 years and were both schoolteachers, but Mauser – the foreman of the SoCal band Tijuana Dogs – quit teaching and focused on music full time.

Christina took a job as a girls’ basketball coach at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy.

Mauser additionally took a side gig composing music for a children’s podcast produced by Kobe, The Punies.

However, everything changed for the happy couple and the families of the six other people who were on board with Kobe and Gianna Bryant that tragic day.

Christina, Kobe, Gianna Bryant, Coach John Altobelli, Kerri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan all perished in the crash.

What did he say during his America's Got Talent performance?

The school teacher-turned-singer began to cry as he explained to the judges that he lost his wife in the helicopter accident that killed nine people – including the NBA star and his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi.

As Mauser stepped on stage, judge Simon Cowell, 61, asked why he decided to try out for the NBC talent competition. 

Already appearing emotional, the dad-of-three responded: “I’m a singer and I’m here because my wife and I were both school teachers. 

“And we retired from teaching so I could do music full time and she got the opportunity to coach women’s basketball with Kobe Bryant. 

“But on January 26 of 2020, I lost my wife in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.

“If I had it my way, I’d have my wife here and I’d be supporting her. It’s been a rough year but here I am.”

Mauser tearily told the AGT judges and host Terry Crews: “[Christina] would want me to carry on. She would want our kids to have happy lives — I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’m going to try.”

He said that he went on AGT to show his children that "this grief does not define" their family.

The rest of the panel – Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara – looked shocked as Simon said: “I am so sorry.” 

Mauser belted out the classic Phil Collins ballad, Against All Odds, and by the end of the track, he was so overcome with emotion he could barely sing.

All four judges were impressed and gave the Orange County native a standing ovation.

The singing hopeful got a "yes" from each of the A-list critics and his three children ran out from the side of the stage to give their dad a big hug.

How can I watch America's Got Talent?

AGT airs Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.

Season 16 is currently still in its audition stage as the contestants showcase their talents at a chance to win the $1million grand prize.

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