Watch Jason Aldean and Caleb Kennedy Perform ‘Fly Over States’ On ‘American Idol’

Katy Perry told Caleb Kennedy, “You are so authentically yourself.”


Lauren Jo Black

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April 5, 2021

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Jason Aldean and Caleb Kennedy; Photo Courtesy of ABC

ABC’s American Idol returned Monday evening (April 5) with an exciting second round of celebrity duets, featuring a number of superstar artists including Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, Jewel, Incubus’ Brandon Boyd and more.

Country hitmaker Jason Aldean also guest starred on the show and was on on-hand to duet with Top 24 contestant Caleb Kennedy. Their duet took place following Kennedy’s solo performance of “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band.

Aldean and Kennedy teamed up for a performance of the country superstar’s 2012 hit, “Fly Over States,” which was released when Kennedy was in Kindergarten. The performance perfectly showcased Kennedy’s vocal abilities and earned praise from all of the Idol judges. 

“You know, Luke Bryan actually told me something about country folk. You’ve got some country listeners that are more mainstream, then you’ve got your AM and your FM,” Katy Perry told him. “You are so country – you gonna get the AM, the FM and the mainstream because you are so authentically yourself.”

This performance marked the first time Kennedy performed without a guitar. Luke Bryan applauded him for stepping outside of his comfort zone. 

“I would say The Allman Brothers thing may of showcased you a little bit better than ‘Fly Over States.’ Man, what’s the most promising thing about you Caleb is you sound like you no matter whose music you’re doing,” Bryan said. “I mean, that’s just what you sound like.”

“You have been possessed by a very old seasoned country man,” Lionel Richie added. “You’re going to learn as you go who that person is so that you know as time goes on. 16-years-old, you have so much promise, so much promise in your career. I just can’t wait to see where you go with this.”

The 16-year-old singer previously impressed the Idol judges with performances of two different self-penned songs that truly impressed Idol judges, especially Luke Bryan who praised his gritty country vocals.

Fans can vote for Caleb Kennedy by using the official American Idol app, visiting or by texting 22 to 21523. Please note, fans can vote 10 times, per contestant, per voting method.

American Idol returns on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Click above to watch Aldean and Kennedy’s performance. 

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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 and her work being featured on 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.