American Idol

Meet Leah Marlene from American Idol Season 20


Leah Marlene from American Idol Season 20

Leah Marlene from American Idol Season 20

Leah Marlene is among the artists who have announced that they auditioned for Season 20 of American Idol.

Idol returns to ABC on Sunday, Feb. 27. Here’s more about Leah.

* She’s a 20-year-old singer-songwriter, born in Canada, who lives in Normal, Ill.

* Leah’s another of the Season 20 contestants who has already released lots of music, in her case a 2018 EP called “Arrow” and a 2020 self-produced album called “The Space Between.” Check out the superb “Visitor” from that album below.

* And she just released a new album Friday, “Many Colors,” partly thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign she launched last year that raised more than $10,000.

* She explains that she wanted to raise that money so the new album would be more collaborative, involving more musicians than her last project, which she produced in her basement with very little outside help.

* Writes Leah in her Kickstarter pitch: “This is the first project I will release that feels like it truly represents the fullness of my artistry .. I’ve done a tooooon of writing the past two years- alone and also with some spectacularly talented co-writers- and these songs are my all-time favorites from this large pool of songs.”

* The lead track on the album is “Wisher to the Well.” She’ll performed a snippet of that song during her Idol audition.

* As for her sound, Leah describes it this way: “Think Fleetwood Mac, Jake Wesley Rodgers, Amanda Marshall, Madison Cunningham, Katie Pruitt, HAIM, Jade Bird, +… BUT with the flare of Allen Stone, Lawrence, Jordy Searcy, Samm Henshaw, Emily King, Lake Street Dive, Josie Dunne +.”

* Leah grew up around music. Her dad, Derry Grehan, is a songwriter and lead guitarist with the Canadian band Honeymoon Suite and taught her how to play piano and guitar.

* She started performing around her home in Illinois at age 10 and began making regular trips to Nashville to perform, write and record music when she was a freshman in high school.

* After graduating, she spent two years studying songwriting at Belmont University in Nashville before returning home to work on the new album.

* In 2021, she was named one of five winners of the SOCAN Foundation’s Young Canadian Songwriters Award. According to her Instagram, she won for “Spacesuit” from “The Space Between” album.

Leah on social media:

American Idol Season 20 profiles

The links take you to the profiles of singers who auditioned for Season 20 of American Idol.

Allegra Miles
Ashley Blaire
Ava Maybee
Betty Maxwell
Cadence Baker
Carly Mickeal
Christian Guardino
Ciasia Nicole
Cole Wesley Ritter
Corey Curtis

Dakota Hayden
Dan Marshall
Danielle Clavell
Danielle Finn
Douglas Mills, Jr.
Elli Rowe
Elliot Greer
Emyrson Flora
Fritz Hager
Hunter Girl

Jacob Moran
Jay Copeland
Joedi Silvers
Jordan Chase Torrez
Jourdan Blue
Katyrah Love
Kaylin Roberson
Kendra Checketts
Kenedi Anderson
Kevin Gullage

Kezia Istonia (a.k.a. Lady K.)
Kirk Richmond
Leah Marlene
Lexi Weege
Max Embers
Mike Parker
Nicolina Bozzo
Noah Thompson
Olivia Faye
Paige Fish

Ryan Argast
Ryleigh Madison
Sam Moss
Scarlet Ayliz
Sir Blayke
Tobias Hill
Tristen Gressett
Tyler Allen
Valerie Marie
Wennely Quezada
Yoli Mayor

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