HATTIESBURG, MS - J.J Riley, 15, is a small-town boy from Tylertown with a big dream.
He will compete in the second round of America's Got Talent auditions on Friday in Atlanta.
"I was surprised, I was jumping up and down, I was crying," Riley said. "I was just happy."
Riley said he first realized his passion for singing when he was very little. His grandmother encouraged him and his cousins to create a singing group called the "Riley Boys."
"What I wanted to do was gospel and when I got to sing with the Riley Boys my heart was full," Riley said.
Riley is also an eighth grade student at Tylertown High School and a member of the choir. His teachers said they are excited for J.J's chance to pursue his dream.
"He is so impressive from the get go. The first time I heard him sing I thought that kid's got it," said Shannon Fortonberry, Tylertown choir facilitator.
Riley said he will continue to practice so he can perform his best on Friday.