Music Notes

This Singer's 'American Idol' Performance Led To An Emotional Group Hug With The Judges

"You've come so far."

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On Sunday night, American Idol contestant Marcio Donaldson blew the judges away with his solo performance for the Top 24 contestants. The 28-year-old sang "Inseparable" by the late Natalie Cole, and earned more than just praise from Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan — he also got a group hug.

In his audition for the show, Donaldson revealed that he had adopted his baby son from his sister, who had a substance abuse problem. He brought 6-month-old Rashaad to meet the judges, saying he wants to give him "a better life" and sharing, "He's changed my life ... Now I'm not only performing for me, I'm performing for my son."


Rashaad was in the audience during Donaldson's latest emotional performance, which showed off his incredible range. He ended the song in tears and received a standing ovation from all three judges. "I knew Natalie," said Richie. "Natalie was watching you on that song, my friend."

"You've come so far," Perry told him, while Bryan called him a "survivor" and said he delivered a "world-class performance." When they were done sharing their thoughts, the judges walked down to the stage and gave Donaldson a hug as the audience cheered. "This performance meant a lot to me," Donaldson explained. "To get here was a lot."

Watch Donaldson's full performance below:


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