Gluckstadt teenager appears on ‘Idol’

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Canton native Hannah Everhart went from singing with her father in her living room to auditioning in front of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on the set of “American Idol.”

Everhart, 17, was recently featured in the Feb. 21 episode of “American Idol” audition rounds and will be appearing in another episode within the next few weeks, she said.

During Everhart’s Feb. 21 audition, “American Idol” judge and pop music star Katy Perry asked Everhart, “Are you the country version of me?” because of the striking resemblance of the two women.

Lionel Richie, another “American Idol” judge told Everhart, “I just love that twang in your voice.”

Everhart proceeded to sing “Wayfaring Stranger” for the judges when Bryan cut her off to tell her to “quit checking us out” and to focus on her singing.

After the song was finished Everhart said she was nervous and her voice was dry.

Bryan said Everhart had “50% whooped everybody in your little hometown but if you start going 100% you’re going to start whooping people on ‘American Idol.’”

Everhart thanked him for the advice and admitted she originally wanted to audition with “At Last” by Etta James but went with “Wayfaring Stranger” to play it safe.

“Why are you going to play ‘American Idol’ safe?” Bryan said, and Perry asked her to sing a little of “At Last,” which Everhart did to get through to the Hollywood round.

Everhart, who grew up in Canton and Andalusia, Alabama, moving back and forth between the two areas throughout her childhood, attended Andalusia Elementary, East Flora Elementary and later moved to Gluckstadt with her family and attended Germantown High School.

Everhart said she has been singing since she was a young girl, and her parents are both avid singers as well. 

Her father, David, loves playing guitar, and her mother, Nekia, sings at Apostolic Lighthouse Church in Canton. 

However, Everhart said she never thought about auditioning for “American Idol” until her friend messaged her about auditions that would be happening virtually through the video platform Zoom.

“I auditioned and didn’t know what to expect,” Everhart said. “Around three weeks later, I was contacted by “American Idol” and was told I would be flying out to California for the live auditions in front of the judges.”

Everhart said she believed the most challenging part of the auditions was keeping confident throughout the show. She said her voice has always been unique. She knows she can sing, but she never expected her voice to get her as far as it has. 

Everhart said that when someone sings with confidence, it improves their performance.

“I didn’t watch ‘American Idol’ growing up, but I’ve watched it recently over the years,” 

Everhart said. “There’s a lot more to it than you would think. It was very surreal, and it’s been so fresh on my mind. Getting to be on the show feels good.”

Everhart said her favorite part of the experience was making herself proud, and most importantly, her family proud as well.

Along with singing, Everhart said she loves to paint, write poems, ride horses and help her father on the family’s cow farm in Pickens. She said she will keep doing those things along with singing, and of course plans to pursue the journey she’s on and continue music if that’s what God has in store for her. 

“I’m just trying to be an inspiration to small-town folks,” she said. “I will do what God has planned for me.”

Nekia Everhart said it brought joy to her heart to see her daughter on live TV. 

“When I see my sweet girl on TV chasing her dreams, it brings such a huge smile to my face,” Everhart said. 

“Her daddy and I encourage her to stay true to herself and keep God first in all she does in life. I hope she chases her dreams but remembers that all roads lead back home.”

Raeganne Robinson, a long-time friend of Hannah Everhart, said seeing her friend on TV was incredibly exciting since it was something they had always talked about.

“I get emotional about it because seeing her pursuing her dream and growing into such a wonderful person is truly amazing,” Robinson said. 

“I know she is going to be a true inspiration to anyone that has big dreams.”


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