Blind Singer’s Rendition of “Rise Up” Brought Lionel Richie to Actual Tears
Since 2002, American Idol has been captivating audiences the world over. It’s introduced us to some of the most phenomenal music stars today, such as Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert–and, it has also given us some of the most hilarious TV moments of all time. (Anyone remember William Hung’s stirring rendition of “She Bangs?”).
But, aside from being a fame machine, the televised singing competition has also offered the public with its fair share of inspiring moments. As a matter of fact, the show is famous for its inclusivity, giving singers of all backgrounds the opportunities that they might not have when entering the music industry on their own.
Our favorite recent example of this is the story of a contestant named Shayy. Shayy is a high school student who has overcome more in her short time on earth than most have in a lifetime. It all started last year, when the teen began complaining to her mother that she was experiencing vision problems. At first, neither was too worried about it; Shayy just thought that she might need to rock glasses from then on. But, sadly, her vision problems were really just a symptom of something more serious happening in her body.
When she visited her ophthalmologist, she was told to go straight to her local emergency room, where she was then ordered to undergo a number of tests. Unfortunately for Shayy, she was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor, which, ultimately, ended up taking her vision.
It’s a heartbreaking story, especially considering the teen’s prognosis is still unknown, but that hasn’t stopped the performer from pursuing her dreams. As a matter of fact, Shayy auditioned for American Idol just a year after her life-altering medical emergency. There, she got the chance to perform for the judges–and believe us when we say that she didn’t disappoint!
The teen sang a song that fit her experience so well, Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” a performance that was simply raw, emotional, and so, so good. Seriously, this girl has a voice that would result in a successful audition, regardless of her disability. All of the judges were moved by her story and singing talents, but Lionel Richie was particularly touched.
“You have wrecked me,” Richie said, trying to hold back his tears. Clearly, Shayy made quite the impact in her short audition. Can you guess how the judges voted??
Now that you know all about Shayy’s medical nightmare, and her not allowing it to get in the way of her dreams, it’s time for you to watch the unbelievable performance for yourself. To see this high schooler give a showstopping performance–and make the American Idol judges cry like babies–be sure to watch the video below!
We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this incredible performance! Are you a fan of Shayy? Do you think she will go far on American Idol? Who is your favorite contestant from this season so far?