‘American Idol’ Standout Zachariah Smith Turns Heads With Debut Single, ‘American Grace’

“This song is so cool in a lot of ways, but my favorite is that it sounds like an anthem,” Smith explains.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 19, 2023

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Zachariah Smith; ABC/Eric McCandless

Zachariah Smith’s heart-pounding debut single, “American Grace,” is out now and it’s an anthem for people everywhere.  

Co-written by Jesse Frasure, AJ Babcock and Alex Hall, “American Grace” finds the American Idol Top 7 finalist telling the story of a kid turning to music during the happiest of times as well as life’s most difficult moments. 

Debut Single Out Now

Zachariah Smith - American Grace
Zachariah Smith – American Grace

“Oh, oh, God bless it / Oh, oh, let it play / In every hometown, the heartbeat pounds / To the sound of American Grace / How sweet the sound of American Grace,” Smith sings on the chorus of the spirited track. 

Throughout the song, Zachariah Smith allows his southern-rock-leaning vocals to shine vibrantly over an energy-filled rock instrumental.

Listen

YouTube video

The 19-year-old former grill cook recorded “American Grace” at The Sound Factory with producers Oak Felder of Oak for the Orphanage & Lucian Nagy.

“This song is so cool in a lot of ways, but my favorite is that it sounds like an anthem. ‘American Grace’ is my anthem,” Smith admitted.

“Powerful Song”

Ahead of the tune’s release, Zachariah Smith took to social media to share a clip talking about his first-ever original song. 

“To record my own song has been a dream come true,” Smith shared. ”I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time and for me to be able to come out here and record my own single and make my own music is just really, really cool. So, it’s a once in lifetime [experience] and I’m forever grateful.”

He also detailed his favorite line in “American Grace.” 

“My favorite line in this song is the second verse, it says ‘folks are fighting downstairs, but the guitar’s there’ to help me get away from it all,” he explained. “If I was just going through a hard time in life I knew my guitar was always there to be able to take me to a different place.”

“This song is an anthem… [It] is pounding on the hearts of the American people. This song means unity [and] this is a powerful song,” Smith added. 

Idol Journey Ends

The single comes days after his American Idol journey came to an end. Following his departure from the show, Zachariah Smith took to social media to bid farewell to the singing competition show.

“I didn’t want to make a too complicated video [and] I thought about doing it and I wasted time doing it. I don’t want to waste any more time [and] I just want to get straight to the point,” Smith began. “First off, I want to thank you guys. You guys have got me to the top five and that is absolutely insane. And keep in mind, this is just a TV show. I get it. A lot of y’all are upset right now. Some of y’all are just disappointed that the votes didn’t go through like you thought they would. And sometimes it happens. But honestly, this is just a TV show. It helped me grow my platform.”

He then went on to admit that while he is no longer in the competition, it did allow him to grow his fan base. “I’ve got to meet a lot of new people and I’ve gained a lot of new fans that I didn’t have before this. So thank you guys so much for your support,” he added.

Zachariah Smith auditioned for Idol with John Mellencamp’s hit, “Hurts So Good,” where America immediately fell in love with his voice and story.

Following his audition, Perry told him, “Oh no!” Perry exclaimed. “You’re not flipping no burger!”

Smith couldn’t contain his excitement as he questioned, “I don’t have to flip burgers anymore?” He had a huge smile across his face as the judges laughed.

Re-Live His Audition

YouTube video

His auditioned earned a “yes” from all three judges and he ultimately advanced to Hollywood, which led him all the way to the Top 5 where his time on Idol came to an end.

Throughout the competition, he has also covered Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing,” Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Little Richard’s “Lucille,” Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice,” Isaac Brown’s “Body Roll Boys,” Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic,” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Toto’s “Hold The Line,” Electric Light Orchestra’s “Don’t Bring Me Down,” and more.

While Zachariah Smith didn’t make it to the Top 3, he encourages his followers to tune into the finale of American Idol on Sunday, May 21 at 8/7c as he will be returning to the stage to perform once again.

“Don’t skip out on the finale. I will be at the finale and I have a special duet partner and this one’s going to be really fun. Teaser, the 80s is coming back. All right. I love y’all. Thank you guys so much,” Smith concluded.

Colin Stough, Megan Danielle, Iam Tongi; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Colin Stough, Megan Danielle, Iam Tongi; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Finale

During the three-hour season finale of American Idol, Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle and Colin Stough will face off for the title of American Idol champion.

Live from Hollywood, the finale will feature performances by the judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, as well as guest performers Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, Ellie Goulding, James Blunt, Jazmine Sullivan, Jelly Roll, Keith Urban (who is also mentoring Top 3), Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon, Kylie Minogue, Lainey Wilson, Lauren Daigle, Pitbull, and TLC.

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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.