Sophia Wackerman has music in her blood. Her entire family is comprised of musicians. Dad, Chad Wackerman, drums for James Taylor and worked with Frank Zappa. Sophia’s mother, Naomi Star, was a singer who inspired Sophia to follow in her footsteps at a “super young” age. She sang with the Moody Blues and was a back up vocalist for Go Go Belinda Carlisle. Sadly, mom died when Sophia was 16 after a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis.
Now, Sophia auditions for American Idol because she and her mother used to watch the show together. “I really feel that I am carrying my memory of her today,” she tells host Ryan Seacrest outside of the audition room.
After the singer’s rendition of Bishop Briggs’ “Water” delights judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, Katy encourages the 20-year-old to go by “Sophia Star” in honor of her late mom. Luke compliments Sophia on her signature, mature and professional sounding tone. He adds that he likes her “fun little sparkle” and the twinkle in her eye. Indeed, Sophia literally twirled when she landed on the seal! Lionel calls Sophia “several different threats.” He calls Sophia “Top 10.” Katy believes Sophia needs to work on some technical things. But she calls her tone “definable.”
No surprise. It’s 3 yeses for Miss Star and she’s on to Hollywood! The judges walk her out to the holding room. They tell the waiting hopefuls, “People are really good here!” says Katy. “Bring it like that, and we’ll have the best show on earth,” adds Lionel.
(Is Sophia’s mom singing backup for Belinda Carlisle in this Late Night with David Letterman appearance from the late 80s? Judge for yourself HERE.)
Watch Sophia Wackerman’s American Idol audition below.