American Idol Audition: Dontrell Briggs’ Gospel Moves Lionel Richie


Twenty-six year old Dontrell Briggs arrived at his American Idol audition carrying a rug that commemorated his dear Godmother who recently passed away. He grew up in a home in North Carolina with “six ladied and one of me.”

“Miss Betty” played a very big part in Dontrell’s life. Not a day went by that he couldn’t call her, and she’d be right there for him. Sadly, she suffered from lung disease. “She fought for a long time,” Dontrell said. “She didn’t let anything stop her. She always kept going.” Her loss was hard on the young singer.

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First, Dontrell sings “For Your Glory” by the gospel singer, Tasha Cobbs. His performance is raw and emotional. He seems on the verge of tears at times. However, the judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan are split on whether Dontrell should advance or not.

The judges are split on whether Dontrell should get that golden ticket

Lionel is moved. He felt that Dontrell allowed God to come through him. “Your dear friend…was actually right next to you while you were singing. I felt every breath of that performance,” said Lionel.

On the other hand, Luke had issues with how Dontrell used his vibrato. “If I could shape and mold you, where you don’t give us so much of that staggered vibrato,” Luke said. “You really lean on that a lot. You don’t have to as much. I just don’t want that to become redundant to the listener.”

Katy agreed with Lionel. “The sincerity is so there. But I do think this low vibrato is just not keeping me in it. So I’m not quite sure.”

Dontrell’s second song makes a difference

They vote. Lionel thinks he can work on his vibrato, and says yes. However, Katy believes “it’s going to be hard to get there for American Idol.” She says no. Luke is also not sure. Dontrell offers to sing Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.” The performance does it for Luke. Half way through the chorus, he shouts out “YES. You’re going to Hollywood!” adding, “I just got chills all over.”

Lionel is so happy for him, he gives him a big hug, Covid protocols be damned.

American Idol Auditions 3 airs on ABC Sunday March 13 at 8 pm ET PT.

Watch Dontrell Briggs American Idol audition below.

About mj santilli 34986 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!