Lionel Richie Broke Down In Tears After Hearing A Blind Singer’s Rendition Of ‘Rise Up’


Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie have a lot of talent and as ‘American Idol’ judges, they are also accustomed to seeing a lot of talent. Some of the artists that come before them are gifted singers but they may also have an incredible story that goes along with it. Considering all that they’ve seen and heard, it’s rather incredible when one of them is moved to tears but that is exactly what happened to Lionel Richie when 17-year-old Shayla “Shayy” Winn had her turn at the microphone.


Like many contestants, Winn told her story to the judges prior to singing her audition song. It included doctors finding a tumor in her brain that eventually left her legally blind. When she sang the song, ‘Rise up’, the judges were impressed. They were also impressed with what she had to go through to arrive at that moment and the courage she had for standing in front of them and singing her heart out.

As soon as she began singing, it had an effect on the judges but it was especially working on Richie. Her voice is one that can give you goosebumps but Lionel was moved to tears.

You can see the audition video here from the American Idol YouTube channel:

The judges were all saying that she had something ‘they cannot teach’.

“Here you are, with all of your story — you walk out here with all of the confidence in the world and just deliver your spirit. And you touched me,” a teary-eyed Richie said.

Obviously, she was invited back to the next round of ‘American Idol’ and anybody could have guessed it, judging by the quality of her audition.

Winn wasn’t sure what she should expect out of her audition but she is looking forward to the possibilities of being on the show. She talked about her nervousness, saying: “You don’t know what they’re looking for, what they’re thinking,”

It is her hope that she can be an inspiration to others who are considering trying out for the show. That is especially true of those who are dealing with a disability.

“I want to say, ‘don’t let anything stop you from doing what you love and what you dream to do,’” she said. “Keep on pushing on, you got this.”

We look forward to seeing how far she is able to take it.



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