WATCH: Will Moseley Advances To Top 10 On ‘American Idol’ With Gritty Chris Stapleton Cover

Luke Bryan told Moseley his performance was “perfect.”


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 23, 2024


2:36 pm

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Will Moseley performs Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over” on American Idol

American Idol contestant Will Moseley put his gritty vocals on full display during the show’s Billboard No.1 hits night on Monday (April 22), leaving the judges and viewers in awe of his natural talent following a performance of a Chris Stapleton hit.

Meghan Trainor Encouraged Him To Smile More

The Georgia native received advice from guest mentor Meghan Trainor ahead of his time on stage. During their mentoring session, the pop star encouraged Moseley to use his smile to his advantage. 

“I think Meghan’s advice was really great,” he shared. “So when I go out on stage, I wanna have a good time and try to start smiling a little bit more.” 

Will Moseley performs Chris Stapleton's "Starting Over" on American Idol
Will Moseley; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

He Incorporated Her Advice Into His Performance

Taking her words of wisdom to heart, the 23-year-old performed Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over” and his signature smile was noticeable throughout the performance. With his guitar in hand, the former football player delivered a solid rendition of the song while the audience clapped along. 

It appears his persistence paid off as he received positive feedback from the judges’ panel. 

Lionel Richie shared, “What I love about that particular performance was you went from zero to a hundred and less than two seconds. In other words, the song was right, the rhythm was right, and then your voice came in and that was just the end of the ball game. You have instant identity with that voice. By the way, I want you to know that that’s a voice that I could close my eyes from all the contestants and know that’s Will Mosley. By the way. You did an amazing job. Congratulations. I love what you just did.”


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Katy Perry elaborated on Trainor’s advice and encouraged the rising star to continue to convey the mood and message of the song he is singing through his facial expressions and overall demeanor. 

“Look at that beautiful smile. Happy to see your smile. Big Mo. I think what Megan was saying is that you have such a cut-throughness in your voice. You have such personality and attitude in your voice. Give that to your face as well,” she urged. “Make us really believe it with the whole physical kind of a combination. I think when you deliver you’re a little bit, there’s more there you could give us in the eyes and the cheeks and the mouth and the snarl because it sounds that way, but we want to see it that way too.”

Luke Bryan Said It Was “Perfect”

Like Bryan seemed to agree with Perry and told Moseley to “act a little bit” throughout his performances. 

Will Moseley smiles on stage during American Idol
Will Moseley; Photo by Disney/Eric McCandless

“I’m just excited to see you on some Crest White strip commercials now that we’ve started showcasing this smile,” he joked. 

The country star later added, “But listen, I think you’re solid every time you get up here. I loved tonight’s performance. I think anytime Stapleton is an ace in the hole for you and that was a really great performance. I enjoyed it. Perfect.” 

Will Moseley once again won over the hearts of voters and was able to advance into the Top 10. 

American Idol returns next Sunday with guest mentor Shania Twain and performances by Idol alums Scotty McCreery and Just Sam.

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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.