Bethany Teague’s EXCEPTIONAL Kelly Clarkson Cover: “Piece By Piece” On American Idol 2024

When preschool teacher Bethany Teague auditioned on the 22nd season of American Idol, the judges were moved to tears by her phenomenal tones and flux of emotive power. Covering Kelly Clarkson’s 2015 album title track, “Piece By Piece,” Bethany’s voice was clearly exceptional yet beautifully rough around the edges, fueled by both a passion for music and an unforgettable emotional backstory.

Bethany was 25 when she auditioned for American Idol in 2024. Before settling into her most recent position as a preschool teacher, Charlotte broadened her horizons across the care profession, working in a dementia unit, as a teacher at First United Methodist Church, and as a pharmacy technician. But digging deeper, the same forces that inspire Bethany’s career in the care industry also inspire her immense talent as a singer.

After Katy Perry asked Bethany what inspired her to choose this particular Kelly Clarkson track for her audition, Bethany revealed her harrowing past. Her mother had passed away in 2017 after giving birth to Bethany’s younger sister. Her dad had never been in the picture, leading Bethany and her siblings to move in with their grandmother. Bethany said through tears while hugging Katy Perry, “That’s why my family is so important,” and the judges could feel her pain.

Bethany’s song of choice, “Piece By Piece,” trails a similar theme to Bethany’s own life. It’s a track about a father walking away from his family, leaving his daughters bereft and shocked when a new figure fills the void better than their own father (“Piece by piece he restored my faith, that a man can be kind and a father could stay.”). It’s no wonder her audition was so emotionally charged — Bethany embodied the song and her performance captured its raw reality perfectly.

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bethany has been posting singing clips on TikTok since the COVID lockdowns. With over 2M views on her most-watched TikTok, Bethany’s fans encouraged her to audition on American Idol, first unsuccessfully in 2020, and again in 2024, where she received three out of three “Yes” votes from judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan.

As a plus-size girl, Bethany represents a generation of young singers who don’t fit the traditional pop star mold. She even told the Charlotte news station, WSOC-TV: “For a long time, I had this really bad insecurity about myself that I wasn’t like what people wanted to see, I didn’t look the way that society pictured me as an artist, or I wasn’t skinny enough, or I wasn’t this, and I always picked myself apart.”

Bethany proves herself to be an organic artist overflowing with original talent and a pure drive to succeed and make her family proud. While being a role model for plus-size singers finding their confidence on the world stage, Bethany also hopes to inspire her younger siblings to pursue their dreams, regardless of their background.

If you would like to listen to more of Bethany Teague’s incredible voice and follow her moving journey, you can subscribe to her YouTube Channel. To get to know her more personally and catch behind-the-scenes glimpses, you can follow her on Instagram.

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