17-Year-Old Dawson Slade Saved By Second Song On American Idol

17-year-old Dawson Slade performed not only one but two country songs to secure his golden ticket on American Idol. Who…

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

February 25, 2024

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Dawson Slade; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

17-year-old Dawson Slade performed not only one but two country songs to secure his golden ticket on American Idol.

Who Is Dawson Slade?

The Moulton, Alabama native, who currently works on a ranch in Goodlettsville, TN, has a baby boy named Slade and hoped to secure his spot on Idol in honor of his son.    

“My son is by far the best thing that’s ever happened in my life,” Slade shared. “This is the dream. I got a lot of nerves going on right now, but I told myself, just got to remember why you’re doing this and who you’re doing it for and not just yourself.”

Dawson Slade; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless
Dawson Slade; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

What Did Dawson Slade Perform For His Audition?

Slade first performed a rendition of Lee Ann Womack’s iconic hit, “I Hope You Dance.” He plucked an acoustic guitar throughout the performance as the judges intently watched on. 

While Luke Bryan admitted he heard some “good guitar playing” from the American Idol hopeful, it seems that his overall performance fell flat. 

“You’ve got a great voice, a great tamber, a great kind of country thing to you. You’re just not giving it the attack,” Katy Perry commented. 

Dawson Slade; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless
Dawson Slade; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

“It’s a little linear. It’s just starts here and stays there. It’s a little calm and safe,” Bryan added. 

The judges’ panel agreed with Bryan and it came time to vote, it appeared as if Dawson Slade’s time on American Idol was coming to an abrupt end. 

“Dawson. I think that truthfully, as much as I want to celebrate, I think you need to really, you got to put more time in. It’s going to be a no for me,” Lionel Richie admitted. 

Perry and Bryan appeared to be at a crossroads.  

Watch Dawson Slade’s American Idol Audition

YouTube video

“I’m hearing tons of songwriter vibes right now. I’m not really hearing screaming artist vibes yet,” Bryan told him. 

Before making a final decision, Bryan racked his brain to try to come up with a song to “test him out on.” 

Second Performance

Slade quickly chimed in, offering to perform the Justin Moore song, “Somebody Else Will.”

This performance allowed the young artist to showcase more of his vocal range and ultimately won over Perry and Bryan.

On To Hollywood

“I just didn’t know you had that. You have those levels. You need to use those levels,” Perry suggested. She quickly added, “It’s a yes from me.”  

Bryan cast his vote as a “yes,” and with two out of three votes, Dawson Slade secured his place in the Hollywood rounds. 

After hearing the good news, Slade shared, “HOLLYWOOD BOUND!! So thankful to be a part [of] such a special season of @americanidol and having my baby boy and mom tag along! See y’all in Hollywood!” 

Dawson Slade has been sharing his musical talents on social media for several years and has covered songs by Ronnie Dunn, John Morgan, Morgan Evans, Parker McCollum, and more.   

According to his Instagram, he often plays around Nashville and is also a songwriter. His original song, “Home In My Heart,” is on streaming platforms.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.