Season 20 of "American Idol" kicked off with an inspiring performance by Tyler Allen, a young minister who left the reality show's judges in tears.
The season premiere of the singing competition kicked off Sunday in Austin, Texas. The premiere featured Allen, who, according to his Instagram bio, is a “preacher, singer, writer, actor and mentor.”
The 24-year-old Alabama native dedicated his audition to his 1-year-old nephew, Noah. Both Noah and his mother, Allen’s sister, were killed in a horrific car accident last April. Allen told the judges that his family members were hit by an 18-wheeler and were killed “instantaneously."
"Putting him to rest was the hardest thing," the grieving uncle shared of his late nephew. "Though he's not here, I do believe he's in a far better place."
Allen then sang a song he used to sing to Noah, Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me." Judge Katy Perry, a pastor’s daughter who is a secular pop star, was consumed by emotion during Allen's audition.
Allen's performance of the song moved the judges, who praised the singer for his talent.
"It's just God-given," Perry said. "It's beautiful."
Judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan also chimed in, with the former declaring, "You are a star. You're the top of my food chain right now."
Allen immediately praised the Lord after hearing a "yes" from all three judges, which advances him to the Hollywood round.
According to his website, Allen is an ordained elder in his church. He has been in ministry for 15 years after starting out as an evangelist at the age of 9. He is a newlywed who regularly posts about the power of God.
In a recent birthday post on Instagram, Allen honored “Mama Matthews," a woman he referred to as his "mentor." Allen said that throughout young adult life, Mama Matthews has been one of his biggest encouragers.
“This picture describes the feeling between me and mama Matthews once the spirit hits us !!!! Since I was a teenager this woman has been in my life. She’s my musical mama and she’s the one that stayed up with until 1 almost 2 before I flew out to audition for ‘American Idol’ working on my audition piece,” he shared.
Tune in to “American Idol” weekly to see Allen compete.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic