Cam Amen Gets the Tears Flowing With ‘Hallelujah’ Cover on ‘Idol’ – Billboard


When Cam Amen recounts his childhood as a “bit rough,” he’s underplaying it.

The 27-year-old American Idol contestant is originally from the country’s heartland, Indianapolis, Indiana, a place where his heart was torn from him as a child.

Stepping into the room for his Idol audition, which aired Sunday night (March 26), Amen shared the gutwrenching story of a youth “in and out of foster care.” Holding back tears, he told of how “we all got taken away from our mom,” and remembered the life-changing moment when police came to his class.


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He left foster care at age 18, and took in his brother and sister for five years, with a plan to “raise them right” and get them through high school.

Now it’s his time to shine.

The singer, now living with his girlfriend in Omaha, Nebraska, tackled Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a gem which found new fans in the mid-90s when Jeff Buckley covered it on his debut LP Grace.

Amen let it pour out, turning on the waterworks with his soulful rendition.

The three judges gave a standing ovation, and Lionel Richie walked on over to give the man a hug. “Welcome home,” Richie said. Luke Bryan was in there next, followed by Katy Perry.

“You’ve been through a lot, but the rest of your life is waiting,” the Commodores frontman explained.

“I can hardly breathe,” Bryan noted. “Your style is so beautiful, unique…every time I wanted you to do something amazing, you did it.” Bryan later told his fellow judges, “he might be the best soul singer we ever had.”

Richie pointed to an otherworldly source. “Divine guidance brought you to us. And my friend you’re going to have one heck of a ride.”

That ride will take him to LaLa Land and beyond. Amen was awarded a “Platinum” ticket, which will enable him to sit out the first round of Hollywood Week.

Watch below.


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