Season #2 of the “American Idol” reboot kicked off on Sunday, with an impressive set of auditions, but perhaps none was more emotional than that of “Kai the Singer.”
The 19-year-old aspiring songstress first won the over the judges’ hearts with her story, and then her song.
“I grew up kinda rough, but I wouldn’t consider it rough,” said Kai. “My whole childhood, we were in and out of shelters and hotels. We were even homeless once and living in the car. But I thank God for the car.”
Though her life has consistently been marked by a struggle to simply survive, Kai has always maintained a positive attitude of gratitude for what she does have.
“It still is tough financially,” she admitted. “There’s [sic] eight people in the house right now, and only two of my brothers have beds, and it’s like a bunk bed.” While Kai’s sleeping arrangement is a blanket on her bedroom floor, she says she’s still very “thankful” for it.
Charged with emotion after sharing her story, Kai’s nerves got the best of her when she began her guitar-accompanied rendition of “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.
Lionel Richie redirected the hopeful singer to the piano where her unique voice and passionate soul melted the judges as she sang The Temptations’ “My Girl” with her own lyrical twist.
“You’ve got such a beautiful soul,” Katy Perry remarked.