American Idol returns to ABC on Sunday, Feb. 19 for its Season 21 premiere.
Here’s more about Kya.
* She’s Austin-based R&B artist Kya Magruder.
* She auditioned for Season 19 at age 19 and made it deep into the competition, being eliminated when the Idol judges cut the cast to 24.
* But Idol fans will be forgiven if they don’t remember her. The only performance of Kya’s the show aired was a duet of Rihanna’s “Stay” with Willie Spence during Hollywood Week.
* That performance brought all three judges to their feet and brought Katy Perry to tears. Lionel Richie called it “divine.”
* Kya wrote on Facebook that “I feel so damn accomplished in making it to to 40-50. This whole experience has been great. Everytime I went on that stage, they gave me a standing ovation.” She said Lionel referred to her as “our wonder woman.”
* Fittingly, Kya told an Austin TV station that she was inspired by the careers of two former American Idol contestants, Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia.
* She also said she’d been singing since age 4.
* Since appearing on the show, Kya released a four-song EP called “Stages of a Heartbreak” on Austin-based Tap Out Records. You can check out the music video for one of those songs, “I’m Leaving,” below.
* She also has more than 500,000 followers on TikTok.
* During their Idol run, Kya became friends with Willie Spence, who ultimately finished second, but died in a traffic accident in October. She paid tribute to him on Instagram, writing: “You became my brother and my friend in one. Getting a call saying that you were no longer here made my stomach turn and heart break … thank you so much for becoming my brother and showing me how capable i was of becoming a star. I love you so much; you’re always in my heart.”
Kya on social media:
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