WATCH: Kelsie Dolin Brings ‘American Idol’ Judges To Tears With Emotional Tribute To Late Grandma On ‘Idol’

18-year-old Kelsie Dolin brought Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to tears with covers of Kelly Clarkson and Adele on American…


Andrew Wendowski

| Posted on

March 7, 2022


11:18 am

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Kelsie Dolin; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

18-year-old Kelsie Dolin brought Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to tears with covers of Kelly Clarkson and Adele on American Idol on Sunday evening (Mar. 6).

While the young aspiring singer from West Virginia revealed she hasn’t previously performed in front of anyone, she said an advertisement that kept appearing on social media led her to audition for American Idol. Dolin auditioned in honor of her late Grandma, who raised her and always believed in her singing voice, even when she didn’t herself.

“I was going online and [an advertisement for Idol] just kept popping up and my grandma passed last September. So, I just thought it was her kind of telling me to I don’t know, sign up for it,” Dolin explained to the Idol judges.

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan; American Idol
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan; American Idol

Donning a green t-shirt and an orange ball cap on backwards, Dolin belted out the lyrics to Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece.” 

“Kelsie Dolin, have you ever performed in front of anybody before?” Luke Bryan asked the contestant, which to his surprise she said, “no, I tried to sing in church one time and the music started playing and I just froze.”

“You know what you did? You just survived that,” Bryan said before asking if she could sing another song for the Idol judges. Dolin then performed Adele’s “When We Were Young,” which also earned praise from the three Idol judges, Bryan, Richie and Perry.

Click HERE for 10 Things To Know About Kelsie Dolin. 

“Hey, do you know how many bad notes you hit on that last song?” Bryan asked, before he and Richie said “Zero.”

Dolin’s vocals were so impressive that they brought Richie and Perry to tears.

“It sounded real good,” Perry added.

“We are so emotional and we are so overcome because you’ve been sitting down in West Virginia and you have this pure beautiful voice,” Bryan gushed. “It’s never been challenged, it’s never been pushed. It’s just never been lifted up and loved on.”

“This is the only person I know that has walked in here and messed me up completely,” Richie said, Perry added, “You are very special. You’re worth it and I hope that you can trust us.”

“If we could give you a hug a day to just let you know how beautiful you are, you would understand why we’re crying,” Richie said. 

After earning three ‘yes’ answers, Dolin giggled and grabbed her golden ticket before exiting to share the exciting news with her grandpa.

Watch Dolin’s impressive performance below.

YouTube video

Click above to watch Dolin’s impressive Idol audition that brought the judges to tears.

American Idol airs every Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.

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Andrew Wendowski

Written by

Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a self-taught entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.