Self-taught musician sings through adversity

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CHICAGO -- Kerry James "KJ" Rogers, jr. was 19 years old when he asked his mother for a guitar for Christmas. And although he never took a single lesson after that, he did learn the guitar. All by himself - with a little help from YouTube. After learning how to play, he picked out a spot outside of City Hall in Gary, IN, and would play for the people passing by every day.  He was even invited up to Mayor Karen Freeman Wilson’s office to play.

It's a remarkable accomplishment, considering he didn't exactly have a voice for most of his life. Born 23 years ago as a premature triplet, he nearly died from a simple cold after it caused a stroke and respiratory failure, his mother said Monday. And while he survived, KJ suffered brain damage and couldn’t speak until he was about 14 years old.

Amy Rutledge spoke with this inspiring artist who has learned to sing despite suffering from a speech impediment. He said through music - his words flow freely.

You can also find his music in YouTube, imgrum, and Facebook.


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