You can’t listen to The Angel City Chorale sing the “Baba Yetu” without getting goosebumps. Something powerful happens when 145 people join to sing a very important passage of Scripture.
“I’ve heard a lot of choirs over the years, but this is original,” Simon Cowell told the group following their performance.
The Curious Origins of Baba Yetu
“Baba Yetu,” which is translated “Our Father,” is a song with a very curious origin. The lyrics are taken from the Lord’s Prayer. Word for word, the prayer is sung in Swahili. Of course, the Christian music world is familiar with taking lyrics from Scripture, but the video game world is not. The composer of the song, Christopher Tin, wrote it for the game Civilization IV in 2005. It is the first piece of music written for a video game to be nominated and win a Grammy Award, which it did in 2011.
Sue Fink started the chorale in 1993 at a guitar shop in Santa Monica, California. Twenty-five years later, the group is going strong and wowing judges.
“I wanted to start something to give back to the community. We try to represent diversity. Different religions; different ages; we’re black, white; rich, poor; gay, straight. Even the Republicans, Democrats can sit next to each other in our group,” explained Fink, who directed the choir in their performance on stage.
Actress Olivia Munn hit the golden buzzer, which advances a contestant straight to the live show competition. Each judge is only allowed one hit to the golden buzzer, so they have to be very impressed to fast-track a contestant to the final round of competition! Earlier this season, Cowell pressed the golden buzzer for Michael Ketterer, a worship leader from southern California. Ketterer performed a secular song with a very spiritual soul behind it.
Apparently, if you want to impress the America’s Got Talent judges, the best thing to do is perform a spiritual song.
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