Marine Vet-Turned-Country Singer Stuns With 'Coal Keeps The Lights On'

Marine veteran-turned-country crooner Jimmy Rose brought down the house Tuesday night on America’s Got Talent with an original song honoring his Kentucky coal miner roots.

Rose’s rendition of his song “Coal Keeps The Lights On” may have done more to humanize President Barack Obama’s war on coal workers than a boatload of advocacy ads ever could.

“I dove straight into the coal mine. I was 18-years-old when I graduated high school and went straight underground four days after I graduated,” said Rose.

Rose said he wrote “Coal Keeps The Lights On” as a way of “supporting his hometown.”  

Following his career as a coal miner, the Pineville, Kentucky native says he was proud to serve four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Rose, 32, says his last deployment in 2005 was Iraq.

“That was a damn good song,” said judge Howard Stern. “As a programmer of radio stations, I would have added your record and put it on the air. That’s how strongly I feel about you.”

The four celebrity judges advanced Rose to the next round of competition.



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