16-year-old Haven Madison impressed the American Idol judges with an original song in a first look at the upcoming Season 21 premiere, airing on Sunday (Feb. 19) at 8/7c on ABC.
Joined by her father, Jason Roy, on acoustic guitar, Madison showcased her vocal prowess with a performance of a self-penned original tune titled “Fifteen.”
“What if I want now / What if I’m not the same / what if it’s all the game and nothing ever’s gonna change / What if I wanted now / and I don’t know where I’m going / and I’m not sure where this ends / but even when the storms are coming / I’m going stand against the wind / I’ve got a heart that’s full of questions / I guess I’ll find out as I go / I’d rather try to run the distance than live in fear and never know / what if want it now,” Madison sang.
Madison’s Performance Blew The Judges Away
Following her audition, Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan gushed over the Clarksville, Tennessee native’s songwriting talents.
“You can have it. You can have it right now,” Perry and Richie exclaimed as she concluded her performance.
“Absolutely. In fact, let’s go to the studio right now. Let’s cut that song right now. Can we cut that song?” Richie added, praising the young contestant’s vocals and songwriting abilities.
Watch Her Perform “Fifteen”
Madison’s father, who is the lead singer of GRAMMY-nominated Christian contemporary music group, Building 429, was overcome with emotion after his daughter’s audition.
“Are you okay? You’re not. Oh my God, I saw that,” Perry asked as she noticed Madison’s dad tearing up.
Richie added, “Oh my God. Dad, there’s reason to cry.” He went on to applaud the young singer’s “incredible” songwriting skills.
He also told Madison, “You can be anything you want to be right now. It’s believable. Artist, voice, songwriting. Check. Check. Check. I don’t see anything wrong now, except the world doesn’t know anything about you, but they will. That was incredible and I’m so happy you came to American Idol.”
“I’m so grateful to be here,” Madison replied.
A Golden Ticket
Perry then chimed in, exclaiming, “the vocal decision you made, they were just like so on another level. And they’re so you and authentic and coming from your heart, that song has a lot of opportunity to be something.”
Bryan then declared, “we’re starting this day off good,” as Haven Madison marked the first Idol audition to air.
“I mean, I think when a 16-year-old can really speak the 16-year-old language that all the other 16-year-olds want to hear, it’s really special. I mean, whatever y’all are doing is what,” Bryan said. “Let Dad just hit the record button.”
Ultimately, Haven Madison earned three yeses and a golden ticket to Hollywood.
“This diamond’s ready to sparkle,” Katy Perry shouted as she grabbed her golden ticket.
“Miss Haven Madison from Clarksville, Tennessee. Guess what? You’re going to Hollywood!” the judges collectively revealed.
Haven Madison was featured as one of the three Idol contestants competing for America’s vote to win the Platinum ticket alongside Matt Wilson and Elijah McCormick, who ultimately earned the coveted Platinum ticket.
Bryan also teased the audition on social media, where he said, “@havenmadisonsings hooked us with her original song “Fifteen” and we can’t wait to hear more.”
The season 21 premiere of American Idol airs on Sunday (Feb. 19) at 8/7c on ABC. The show will also stream on HULU.
This season of Idol promises to be a memorable one as it’s a celebration of the show turning 21 (in both years and seasons). Idol judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie return to find the next singing sensation in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Nashville.
American Idol airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.