The television series American Idol concluded the auditions phase last week and is moving on to Hollywood Week.
One of the final contestants to advance was 17-year-old Gabby Barrett, who got the judges’ attention not when she started belting out the Carrie Underwood song she’d planned on singing, but when she switched over to a song she learned in church.
“Your personality is in the church song,” Lionel Richie said. “You were just on fire.”
Richie later Tweeted about Barrett’s audition:
You stopped all your pretending @gabbybarrett_ and you became you and you were #americanidol
— Lionel Richie (@LionelRichie) March 26, 2018
Barrett is one of eight children and is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She developed a love for music early on in church choir. She has since gone on to perform locally and has even opened for country music stars Keith Urban and Toby Keith.