Tobias Hill, the music director of Celebration Church Franklin in North Carolina, kicked off this week’s episode of “American Idol” and gave the “glory to God” as he progressed to the Hollywood round.
The 26-year-old singer and musician from the small town of Como wrote, “God gets all the glory” on Instagram while promoting his audition for the ABC show.
He auditioned with the popular Stevie Wonder classic “Knocks Me Off My Feet” and performed the tune while also playing the piano. Hill, who goes by the stage name of Prince Tch, was also asked to dance for celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.
Hill received a “yes” from all three judges, which advanced him to the Hollywood round of the competition.
“I think you’re going to have to get a sub,” Perry, a pastor’s daughter who is a secular pop star, told Hill, referring to his job as a music teacher at Southampton Middle and High School. “It’s time to become the student once again.”
“I’m ready,” Hill, who recently received a master’s degree in marketing from Liberty University, replied. “I’m ready to learn. I’m willing to learn.”
Hill has a large following on social media because of his music. He has over 20,000 followers. In a previous interview with the News-Herald, Hill honored his grandfather, James Albert Long Sr., who taught him music.
“I want to put Como literally on the map,” Hill told the outlet.
Hill is no stranger to singing competitions. In 2021, he made it to the semi-finals of an Instagram singing competition hosted by Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men.
He wants to inspire his community that they can also pursue their dreams.
Hill is musically influenced by R&B singers such as Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight and P.J. Morgan. He described his genre as R&B, gospel and smooth jazz.
Along with Hill’s singing talent, the Christian plays piano, drums and guitar.
Celebration Church Franklin, led by Pastor Anthony Rawlings Sr. and Elder Eureka Rawlings, voiced its excitement after Hill received the golden ticket to advance to the Hollywood round in this week's episode.