American Idol returns to ABC on Sunday, Feb. 19 for its Season 21 premiere.
Here’s more about Michael.
* He’s taking his second stab at a televised singing competition, having advanced all the way to the live playoffs (Top 17) on Season 18 of The Voice. The show aired in the spring of 2020; Michael was 18 when he auditioned.
* Michael turned just one chair with his blind audition performance of Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.” He was particularly impressive in a battle round duet with Allegra Miles (a standout on American Idol Season 20). They performed “How Will I Know” and later released a full version of the song to YouTube. It’s been viewed more than 500,000 times.
* Since The Voice, Michael has released a pair of songs as Michael T.C. Williams — “See You Again” in 2002 and a duet with Meyta called “Chose to Live” in 2022.
* But he calls his latest release, the pop song “Honey,” his first single. The song, which you can check out below, dropped Jan. 13.
* Michael says his love for music came naturally. His dad was a pastor and his mom sang on the worship team and would sing hymns around the house. He began taking voice lessons at age 6.
* From Mason, Ohio, he got involved in musical theater around Cincinnati when he was 8. Michael said his biggest performance prior to The Voice was a Christmas Eve service as his church where he performed for a crowd of 1,000.
* He says his biggest musical influence growing up was Michael Buble. “It was amazing to me how he could connect so well with an audience and entertain them for such a long period of time. And the fact that his voice is amazing made me admire him more. He is why I wanted to become a singer.”
* As a teen, he also performed at King’s Island, an amusement park in Cincinnati. He performed in a ’90s country show called “Country Flashback” and in the park’s Winterfest Christmas event. Both were important in helping him develop stage presence and the ability to connect with an audience, Michael said.