|Age (at audition)||65|
Finley was born and raised in Bernice, Louisiana, United States. At 11 years old he began practicing the guitar he had purchased from a thrift store. Gospel music played a crucial role in his early development: "I always went to gospel quartet groups and I always took the front row seat, and I just watched their fingers", recollected Finley in an interview. In 1970, he joined the army, originally to serve as a helicopter technician in Germany. Upon his arrival, however, Finley accommodated the army band's need for a guitarist and bandleader by traveling with the group throughout Europe until he was discharged.
After returning to Louisiana, Finley worked as a part-time street performer, leader of the gospel group Brother Finley and the Gospel Sisters, and as a carpenter. In 2015, Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports aging blues musicians, discovered Finley busking before a gig in Arkansas. He was deemed legally blind and forced to retire from carpentry. With their help, Finley made a musical comeback, featuring him in packaged tours with acts like Robert Lee Coleman and Alabama Slim.
Finley released his debut studio album, Age Don't Mean a Thing, on September 30, 2016, on Big Legal Mess Records. Although for the most part Finley was a bluesman, his record producer Bruce Watson keyed in on more of his soulful compositions. With production credits from Watson and Jimbo Mathus, Finley traveled to Memphis to record the album with members of the Bo-Keys. He penned all but two of the tracks, highlighted by an autobiographical title song, on Age Don't Mean a Thing, evoking influences from Booker T. and the MGs, James Brown, and B. B. King. Music journalists were highly receptive to Finley's comeback and album, particularly his revitalizing take on Southern soul.
After Age Don't Mean a Thing, Finley got connected with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Auerbach and Finley then released an original soundtrack for the graphic novel, Murder Ballads, published by z2 Comics. Shortly after the release of the Murder Ballads soundtrack, Billboard announced that Finley would be releasing a full-length album produced and co-written by Auerbach.
The album, Goin' Platinum! was released on Easy Eye Sound (Nonesuch Records) on December 8, 2017. The following year Finley joined Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound Revue tour. Finley followed up the Easy Eye Sound Revue tour with a series of headline shows around the world. 
Robert Finley's audition in Episode 1406 consisted of singing an original song titled "Get It While You Can." Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, and Simon Cowell all voted "Yes," sending Robert to the Judge Cuts.
Robert Finley's Judge Cuts performance in Episode 1408 consisted of singing an original song called "Medicine Woman". Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, Simon Cowell, and guest judge Dwyane Wade all gave him standing ovations. His performance was strong enough to advance to the Quarterfinals.
Robert Finley's Quarterfinals performance in Episode 1413 consisted of singing an original song called "Starting to See". Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, and Simon Cowell gave him standing ovations. Robert received enough votes to advance to the Semifinals in Episode 1414 along with Light Balance Kids instead of Nick & Lindsay.
Robert Finley's Semifinals performance consisted of singing an original song called "Age Don't Mean a Thing". Gabrielle Union and guest judge Sean Hayes gave him standing ovations. Robert finished in 4th, 5th or 6th place in America's Vote. In the Dunkin' Save, he received fewer online votes than Light Balance Kids. In the Judges' Choice, Howie Mandel voted for him but Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough and Simon Cowell did not, eliminating him from the competition in Episode 1418 instead of Ndlovu Youth Choir.
- Robert is the third blind contestant to reach the live shows on AGT, the first two being Benjamin Yonattan from Season 10 and fellow Season 14 contestant Kodi Lee.