Aaron Westberry Auditions For ‘American Idol’ with Sam Hunt Cover, Luke Bryan Tells Him He ‘Will Melt Hearts’

20-year-old Aaron Westberry might just be one of the most mellow contestants that has ever appeared on American Idol.  Prior…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 6, 2022


7:02 pm

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Aaron Westberry, Luke Bryan – American Idol

20-year-old Aaron Westberry might just be one of the most mellow contestants that has ever appeared on American Idol

Prior to his Idol audition, the aspiring singer and produce clerk from Greenville, South Carolina had never performed in front of an audience. He did, however, send a video of himself singing to one of his friends, who was thoroughly impressed by his vocal abilities. 

Donning a pair of sweatpants and a long sleeve t-shirt, Westberry auditioned with a cover of Sam Hunt’s “2016.” The contestant performed the fan-favorite Hunt tune from behind a grand piano in front of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Aaron Westberry, American Idol
Aaron Westberry, American Idol

Following Westberry’s performance, the Idol judges compared his soothing vocals to Owl City frontman, Adam Young, and praised his laid-back vibes and modest personality.

“Alright, Mr. Westberry, You have a heartbreak tone,” Bryan said. “Man, you can sing some stuff and it pulls us in and we’re just like, ‘Oh my God, this kid’s breaking our heart and you’re doing that with that tone you just gave us.”

“Yeah, you’re really good,” Perry gushed, before adding, “Your voice makes us melt, it doesn’t have this crazy range. It doesn’t need this crazy range. It’s wild.”

YouTube video

Richie then asked Westberry  if he enjoys “working in the produce department” and if he has a “passion for produce.” The 20-year-old told Richie that he does not have a passion for working in the produce department and that he in fact does aspire to be a singer on American Idol.

“Passion is the key here,” Richie told the mellow contestant, as he motivated Westberry to be more lively.

“You may be one of the most limited singers that we’ve ever sent to Hollywood,” Bryan told the young singer, before Perry added, “It’s very Owl City.”

American Idol Judges
American Idol Judges

“But your delivery is just right up there with James Taylor,” Bryan said, complimenting Westberry’s performance, as Richie chimed in and said he’s “a storyteller.”

“Maybe the most moved I’ve felt all day,” Perry said.

The country superstar urged the South Carolina native to give his performances a bit more during the next round. 

“You’re like walking melatonin, but man if you’ve got that character and somehow you can give us a little more vocals, you will melt hearts,” Bryan added.

After three ‘yes’ from the judges, Bryan, Perry and Richie collectively told Westberry “You’re going to Hollywood!”

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Lauren Jo Black

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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.