Chayce Beckham has been crowned the winner of American Idol 2021.
The Apple Valley, California native placed first in the singing competition and closed out the season finale with a performance of his debut single, “23.”
The autobiographical song finds Beckham reflecting on a difficult time in his life and his decision to sober up following his struggles with alcohol abuse.
“Now I’m 23 and there ain’t nobody who can drink like me/ Soon I’ll be 24 and the lord knows that/ I can’t drank no more/ I know I shoulda taken it slow/ It’s not the way that my life goes/ Now I know/ When your passed out on the floor/ You’re sober by 24,” he sings on the chorus.
Beckham became an instant fan-favorite following his audition with “What Brings Life Also Kills” by Kolton Moore & The Clever Few. He also found a fan in American Idol judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as each judge voted him through to the next round.
Throughout the season, he’s performed covers from artists such as Chris Stapleton, Bob Marley, Bryan Adams and more. He even offered up two original tunes, “Mamma,” and “23,” proving he has the songwriting chops to go along with his vocals and stage presence.
Earlier in the show, he took the stage to sing a Chris Stapleton cover, an Ed Sheeran cover and also performed a duet with country superstar Luke Combs.
The star-studded American Idol finale aired on ABC and also featured performances from Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, Lindsey Buckingham, Fall Out Boy, Alessia Cara, Leona Lewis and Macklemore as well as Perry, Bryan and Richie.
Several contestants from the Top 24, including Alyssa Wray, Cassandra Coleman, Casey Bishop, DeShawn Goncalves, Hunter Metts, Phillip Murphy and more, returned to perform during the finale as well.