‘Spiritual Cowboy’ Dillon James Performs Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan Hits On ‘American Idol’ Finale

Dillon James reflected on his American Idol journey and the tough times that got him there during the American Idol…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 17, 2020


7:52 pm

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Dillon James; Photo Courtesy American Idol

Dillon James reflected on his American Idol journey and the tough times that got him there during the American Idol finale on Sunday (May 17).

The “Spiritual Cowboy” recalled his past addiction struggles as clips of his previous performances aired.

“About five years ago, my life wasn’t like this, how it is today,” he said. “I lived a very negative life, I didn’t have anything really going for me. I lost myself in drugs and alcohol.”

Now with a newfound look on life, James is ready to win fans over and become the next American Idol. During Sunday’s show, James had two more chances to show off his talent, performing a song to celebrate his spot in the Top 5 and one previously performed song that would ultimately become his official single if he wins American Idol.

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James’ first performance featured Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” After delivering the song from his candlelit backyard, the judges praised the “Spiritual Cowboy” for showcasing one of his best performances ever. Katy Perry said it was  “effortless,” while Luke Bryan told him, “you are exactly where you need to be.”

Next up, James revisited the Bob Dylan hit “The Times They Are a-Changin,’” which he previously performed when Idol visited Hawaii. The judges continued to gush over James, with the judges praising his confidence.

“Dillon, I remember when you sang this in Hawaii, but this time I thought it was a much more confident performance. It showed off more talent vocally,” Perry shared.

Bryan agreed, also telling James that he was “inspired” by his story.

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Fans who would like to vote for Dillon James can vote online or by texting 15 to 21523. The winner of American Idol will be crowned at the conclusion of Sunday’s show.

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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.