Music

Jennifer Jeffries’ ‘American Idol’ Audition Drops Judges’ Jaws

Judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry have seen and heard a lot over their many seasons working together as American Idol judges — but they’d never heard anything quite like Jennifer Jeffries.

The high school-aged Idol hopeful from Mississippi auditioned with an original song called “Change My Ways” during the episode that aired on Sunday night (March 3). A segment leading up to her performance introduced viewers to her relationship with songwriting and her life as the youngest of nine siblings.

Still, nothing could’ve prepared the audience watching from home for the voice that would come out when Jeffries began to sing.

Raspy, world-weary and ethereal, her vocals had some common DNA with legends like Lucinda Williams and Patty Loveless, conveying an emotional power far beyond Jeffries’ 17 years.

After she finished singing, the judges were visibly impressed.

“I was not expecting that voice… [It’s like a] little indie film soundtrack voice, you know what I’m saying?” Bryan reflected.

“It’s so raw. It’s so raw,” Perry added.

After raving more about the unique qualities of the young singer’s voice, the three judges voted unanimously to send Jeffries through to the next round of American Idol competition.

American Idol airs on Sunday nights on ABC.

See the Stunning Salaries of the ‘American Idol’ Judges

The new season of American Idol is about to launch, and the judging panel of Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

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