WATCH: Luke Bryan Holds Back Tears As Megan Danielle Delivers Emotional Vince Gill Cover On ‘Idol’

The Georgia native previously performed the song at her grandfather’s funeral.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 2, 2023


1:18 pm

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Megan Danielle; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday with the Judge’s Song Contest, challenging each of the remaining contestants to since a song submitted anonymously by the Idol judges. 

Megan Danielle had the opportunity to choose between three songs: Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” Zach Williams’ “Rescue Story” and “To Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. 

An Emotional Performance

Megan Danielle; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Megan Danielle; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Without hesitation, Danielle chose to sing “Go Rest High on That Mountain” as it holds a special place in her heart because she previously sang it at her grandfather’s funeral. While she knew it would be an emotional performance for her, she powered through even though she’s been avoiding the song since the funeral. 

After working with a vocal coach, Danielle was ready to make her way to the stage. 

The Douglasville, Georgia native began her performance looking up at the sky as if she were giving a nod to her late grandfather. Dressed in a shimmy gold gown and cowboy boots, she continued to let her vocals shine as she lifted her hands and hit the high notes. 


YouTube video

Luke Bryan appeared to be holding back tears as he watched on from the judges’ table. 

Shades of purple and blue lit up the stage around her as she finished on a high note. 

Following her performance, it was revealed that Bryan was the judge who chose the song for her. The country superstar offered her a hug and said, “That was unbelievable.” 

Megan Danielle; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Megan Danielle; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Lionel Richie also praised her moving performance saying, she had “an amazing ability to touch.” 

Katy Perry also complimented the contestant as she promised that she’s exactly where she needs to be right now. 

Top 8

Ultimately, her Vince Gill cover earned her a spot in the Top 8.

“Thank y’all from the bottom of my heart! This was one of my most challenging performances but what a way to honor my papa! Thank you God,” she wrote on Instagram after the show. 

Megan Danielle turned heads when she auditioned for American Idol with Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.” While in Las Vegas, she received the surprise a lifetime when Daigle joined her for her audition. 

At the time Megan Danielle recalled what led her to sing Christian music, “My childhood, I would always spend most of my time at the shop with my Grandpa. He was definitely one of my biggest fans. It’s just weird without papa, but very sad cause everything reminds me of daddy. My Grandpa passed about a year ago and he was the most important person in my life.” 

Megan Danielle, Lauren Daigle; Photo Courtesy American Idol
Megan Danielle, Lauren Daigle; Photo Courtesy American Idol

She continued, “When I was 18, I had a band and we were singing at all different types of bars and venues. I didn’t like performing at bars because I felt like I had to act like someone I wasn’t just so the people would like what they were hearing. There was one show I had one night and my papa was there and he pulled me to the side and said ‘what are you doing baby? This isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing.’ He looked at me dead in the eye and said ‘how can you sing for God and sing for this?’ and then I finally decided to totally switch to Christian music.”

Daigle and Danielle teamed up for a performance of “You Say” and bonded instantly. 

After her audition, Megan Danielle went on to sing songs such as “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)” by Patty Griffin, “Easy On Me” by Adele, and “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac.   

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

All-New Episode Next Week

Tyson Venegas and Marybeth Byrd were eliminated during Monday night’s American Idol. In a surprising twist, the judges saved Oliver Steele. 

American Idol returns next week with Alanis Morisette and Ed Sheeran joining Luke Bryan as guest judges. The Top 8 will perform and the Top 5 will be revealed. 

An all-new episode of the competition aries coast-to-coast on Sunday, May 7 at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

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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.