American Idol

Meet McKenna Breinholt from American Idol Season 22


McKenna Breinholt of American Idol Season 22

McKenna Breinholt of American Idol Season 22

McKenna Breinholt is among the artists who earned a golden ticket on American Idol Season 22.

Idol returned to ABC on Sunday with the coaching trio of Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan back intact.

Here’s more about McKenna.

* McKenna’s audition is the first American Idol has leaked for Season 22. She sits at a piano and performs “There Was Jesus,” showing off a wonderful tone with a nice touch of rasp. All three judges praise her performance. Lionel says he “loves” McKenna’s voice.

* The touching back-story part of her audition is that McKenna was adopted at birth. Her birth mother, a singer, has passed away. Except for Facetime, she’d never met other members of her birth family … until her adoptive family invited them to the audition and they surprised her after her performance. You can check it out below. It’s one of those classic American Idol tear-inducing moments.

* McKenna shares an incredibly touching message from her birth family about her birth mother Amy and the way the connection was made on Facebook. You can check that out here. It’s the post from Jan. 30.

* And it turns out her birth mother, Amy Ross Lopez, was also a singer, releasing music with husband Derick as Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl. In fact, their story is told in a 2022 documentary bearing their band name. McKenna sang one of her birth mother’s songs, “Tumbleweed,” at the end of her audition.

* Now, more about McKenna — an Arizona native, she’s been a soloist with Cinematic Pop, a group that transforms pop songs with the help of a choir, orchestra and soloists.

* McKenna started performing with the group at age 16 and was a featured vocalist when they appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2016.

* The group performed “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” got four yeses from the judges, but pulled out of the show because of scheduling and logistical concerns because the group was so large (a 38-person ensemble from a group that typically included more than 100.)

* Cinematic Pop released its most recent album — “All the Lonely People” — in 2021. McKenna is featured on four of the 12 tracks, covering “Billie Jean,” “Hurt,” “Sunday Candy” and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” McKenna has a unique tone and sounds superb on all those tracks. And that’s the best version of “Sweet Dreams” I’ve ever heard.

* McKenna has also enjoyed success as a solo artist, releasing 11 singles, four of which have more than 1 million streams on Spotify.

* Those songs dates from the 2017-2019 time frame and include “I Wanted You,” “Save Me,” “Chicago” and “Shooting Stars.”

* In addition to writing music, McKenna plays guitar and piano, according to her bio on the Cinematic Pop website.

* By day, she works as an executive administrator with Aviation Performance Solutions in Gilbert, Ariz. It’s a job that at least occasionally takes her airborne judging from her Instagram.

* She announced her Idol audition in mid-January. “This has been a dream of mine for a long time now and I am proud of how far I have come. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I was given to be able to even audition!”

McKenna on social media:

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