‘American Idol’ Hopeful Pays Tribute To His Late Father With Emotional Performance

Byvu lita

Mar 22, 2024

The latest episode of ‘American Idol’ featured an unforgettable artist who flew from England to pursue his dream.

Michael Rice is a 26-year-old street performer from Hartlepool, England, who delivered a tear-jerking performance dedicated to his late father.

Michael began his Idol audition by opening up to the judges about the challenges he endured growing up in a small coastal town. He explained that not many people manage to “get out of the town.”

Continuing, the singer dug into more details about his family life at home.

He recounted how his mother, despite struggling to afford necessities like gas, had poured her heart into providing for him, working tirelessly to make ends meet.

Michael also confided in the judges, revealing that his father was absent during his upbringing due to a battle with drug addiction.

“My dad, unfortunately, wasn’t around. He had a drug addiction. So, like, for the first twelve, thirteen years I didn’t really have a relationship with my dad. As a little kid, it was hard just performing on the stage and looking for my dad,” Michael says in his video package.

He explained how it was difficult not having his dad around when he was young, and just as they had started to reconnect, his father sadly passed away.

“When I was around 17, me and my dad rekindled. He said to me [that] he was very proud of me singing, and then suddenly, he passed away of a heart attack related to the drugs.”

“I do miss my dad so much, actually. I wish he could see me now and how far I’ve come.”

Hearing his dad express that pride left a strong impact on Michael, inspiring him to try out for Idol.

Michael revealed that he chose to sing “Because Of You” by Kelly Clarkson as a tribute to his father.

“The song means so much to me. It just reminds me of my dad, so I hope I do him proud.”

Following his performance, Michael received a standing ovation from all three judges.

Lionel, visibly moved by his singing, called everyone over to embrace Michael in a heartfelt group hug.

American Idol / YouTube

“You gave it all to us,” Lionel told the singer. “That was the most emotional, most giving…I couldn’t hold anything back. That was powerful.”

“You acted like somebody who flew from a long way away to come here and prove to the world what you have. You sang your absolute a** off,” Luke added.

Then, Katy shared her thoughts. “We have a lot of people that come in here and tell us a lot of things that are really horrible and tragic, but rarely do they then follow it up with telling their story through a song that someone else wrote like they wrote it themselves. I watched you die. I heard you cry.”

As the moment of truth arrived, it came as no surprise that all three judges voted “Yes.”

Michael says he hopes to inspire everyone who has experienced a challenging life, like him, through his music.

“I hope I can inspire other kids out there…Just go for it.”

Watch Michael Rice’s touching Idol audition below.

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