Blind Singer Shayy “wrecks” Judges In Inspiring Audition On “Rise Up” On American Idol

Legally blind singer Shayy gave an inspiring audition on Andra Day’s “Rise Up” on American Idol, in a performance that judge Lionel Richie said “wrecked” him and had him in tears. The 17-year-old singer from rural Virginia had the distinctive and soulful voice of a born fighter. “Rise Up” was an excellent choice for her audition, as it not only showed off her incredible voice, but also told the story of her struggle in moving terms.

Shayy gave a stripped-back audition with just a lone piano for accompaniment that presented her gospel and R&B vocal perfectly. Often on talent shows, the singers try to go as big and bold as possible, but Shayy kept her performance humble and honest. She still managed to show off some serious vocal runs that had the judges grinning at each other like loons at various points, particularly the closing falsetto section.

The final falsetto section had the normally composed Richie tearing up big time, which prompted Luke Bryan to quip, “Lionel, you look like you’re walking your daughter down the aisle.” Richie then shared a warm hug with Shayy and said, “You touched me. I’m so in love with you.” Katy Perry echoed this sentiment and said, “You’re so inspiring. Your strength is so inspiring, plus you sing like an angel. For me, you’re not a question mark.”

With that, the judges took their vote and decided right then and there to send Shayy straight to Hollywood. The teen celebrated with a tearful hug with her mother, and then Perry told her, “You earned this 100%, and you’re gonna give so many people a run for their money, because you are meant to be here.” Later in the series, Shayy returned to sing her version of Adele’s “All I Ask.”

Fans listening at home were touched by Shayy’s audition, adding comments such as “I cried right along with Lionel Richie. This young lady is a true inspiration to everyone” and “We complain about minor inconveniences. Meanwhile, this woman has overcome insurmountable odds and risen like a phoenix.”
Shayy, whose full name is Shayla Winn, later progressed through several rounds of performances in Hollywood during her time on the 17th season of American Idol. She was eventually eliminated in Hawaii after singing “All I Ask” when the cut to create the top 20 was made. The teen did, however, return in the finale and sang “Rise Up” in a duet with Andra Day herself!

Check out more from the incredibly talented and inspiring Shayy by visiting her on Instagram and exploring her story and music on her official Website.

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