American Idol Top 3 finalist Noah Thompson returned to his hometown on Tuesday (May 17) for the first time in two months. The small town of Louisa, Kentucky welcomed him home in a big way with a parade, a massive free concert, a road named in his honor as well as a road sign on the Country Music Highway.
At 6 PM on Tuesday, a brand-new road sign commemorating Thompson’s success was unveiled on US-23 at the Johnson-Lawrence county line.
The sign, which came as a total surprise to Thompson, appears right next to the US-23 Country Music Highway sign, which features a list of country superstars from Lawrence County, including the late Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Keith Whitley and legendary bluegrass artist Don Rigsby.
Also appearing on the Country Music Highway sign are Tyler Childers, Larry Cordle and Ricky Skaggs, who recently praised Thompson on social media.
“Hey Noah, this is Ricky Skaggs. I’ve been watching you on Idol, I’m so impressed with your humility and talent,” Skaggs wrote on Facebook. ”God has given you a great gift. Always use it for Him and He will take you places you never dreamed possible!”
Other country artists that appear on the Country Music Highway include Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, The Judds, Chris Stapleton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tom T. Hall, Dwight Yoakam and Patty Loveless.
Sundy Best’s Kristofer Lee Bentley and Don Rigsby were on hand to unveil the newly added road sign to Thompson on Tuesday, as part of Thompson’s homecoming celebration.
The Kentucky’s Department of Transportation road sign, which appears in Lowmansville, reads “Lawrence County – Home of Country Music’s Noah Thompson.”
According to Rigsby (per Mountain Citizen), the sign is currently “just a placeholder until legislation in Kentucky’s state legislature officially places Thompson’s name on both Country Music Highway signs (one at each county line on US-23), which is expected to happen in June.”
Last month, Lawrence County Judge-Executive Phillip L. Carter also honored Thompson with a proclamation, deeming April 2022 as Noah Thompson Appreciation Month after Thompson was voted into Idol’s Top 14.
“I hereby Proclaim that April 2022 be held as Noah Thompson Appreciate Month,” Carter’s proclamation began. “During his time on American Idol Noah Thompson has not only just shown his ability as a singer, he has been a shining light on Lawrence County with his character.”
“Noah Thompson represents Lawrence County with a sincere politeness and humbleness that speaks volumes to the rest of America. Congratulations on making it to the final Top 14. You make Lawrence County proud,” Carter’s proclamation concluded.
During Thompson’s homecoming on Tuesday in Louisa, Kentucky, he also visited his alma mater, Lawrence County High School, and concluded the festivities with a concert at LCHS football stadium that brought out thousands of Thompson’s friends, family and supporters.
The concert featured a several song performance in addition to two star-studded duets with Kameron Marlowe and Sundy Best’s Nick Jamerson.
“I ain’t got no words, you guys have blown me away and I am so grateful for everybody in this crowd. I love you guys, thank you so much. This is nuts!” Thompson humbly said during the homecoming concert.
Thompson’s homecoming was filmed by Idol producers for the hometown segment that will appear in this Sunday’s episode of Idol where he will perform a duet with Melissa Etheridge, perform his debut single, “One Day Tonight,” and cover a Bruce Springsteen hit.
The three-hour season finale of American Idol airs on Sunday, May 22, at 8/7c on ABC.