American Idol 2020: Louis Knight Emotional Tribute to Late Friend (Video)

 (ABC/Eric Liebowitz) LOUIS KNIGHT

American Idol Audition Preview: Louis Knight Shares an Emotional Song

Louis Knight is a 19 year old singer songwriter. Originally from London, his family moved to Philadelphia 8 years ago. Currently, Louis delivers pizza part time while he pursues a career in music. Now, he’s auditioning for American Idol season 18, hoping for that Golden Ticket to Hollywood. Hoping to impress the judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, he sings an original song, “Change.”

The composition is very personal, inspired by losing a good friend to suicide. Moving to America had been a huge adjustment for Louis and his brother, Max. Playing soccer helped, and it’s where they met Russell, who “became part of the family instantly.” Russell was always “so supportive” of Louis’ music. “Even when you didn’t, he would always believe in you,  and help you see that too,” says Louis.

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Louis and his brother knew Russell was going through a hard time, but didn’t understand the extent of his suffering. Sadly, about a year and a half ago, Russell took his own life. Louis breaks down as he describes calling his brother in London to break the horrible news. “When something like that happens, it just stops your whole world,” says Louis. It took the singer a long time to be able to sit down and write about it.

Louis Writes a Very Personal Song

Eventually, all the feelings about his friend’s suicide finally came out. “This song, I wrote it as a tribute to him,” says Louis. He hopes the song can maybe speak to someone suffering, “and maybe save a life.” The piano ballad is personal, emotional and very very raw. The judges are impressed, especially Luke.

“I think you might be the biggest star we’ve ever had on American Idol,” Luke declares. Katy, keeping it real “kind of” agrees. Luke says his chill bumps prove that Louis is a star. “I wouldn’t go so far to say that you are the biggest star we’ve seen in three seasons,” says Katy, winking, “gotta keep you humble, gotta keep you wanting it.” However, she appreciates the sentiment and the feeling of his original song. Lionel says, “From a songwriter, you are on to something big.” Of course, Louis is GOING TO HOLLYWOOD!

The clip ends with a card that contains the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Season 18 premieres on ABC Sunday Feb 16 at 8 pm ET/PT. Watch Louis Knight’s emotional American Idol audition below.

ABC dropped exclusive audition previews to several big outlets:

  • Check out Alisa Ermolaev, the punk rocker who is “compared visually to Taylor Swift.” Hm. That’s dubious. (
  • “I’ve got to be honest with you,” added Richie. “I don’t like you. And for some weird reason, it’s not sitting well with me. I don’t like your voice. I’m being very honest. I don’t like your attitude. And I don’t really think you’re going to make it in Hollywood.” Hm. The contestant in question is Nick Merico the Nickelodeon actor who auditioned–and then dropped out–last season.  (
  • Hopeful Douglas Kiker, who works as a garbage man, chatted with host Ryan Seacrest on his  radio show about his musical hopes and dreams. Douglas had never performed in front of anyone — unless it was “on the back of a garbage truck” — before appearing alongside judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry during the audition process. (On Air with Ryan)
About mj santilli 34844 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!