Aliana Jester (age 18) performed “Higher Love” in a never before seen moment during her audition for Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry on American Idol 2020 (Season 18). Lionel Richie commented after her performance that Aliana reminded him of a young Whitney Houston.
A clip of Aliana singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You” during Hollywood Week was also presented during the episode titled “This Is Me” aired on April 19, 2020. Aliana Jester is one of the Top 20 contestants on American Idol 2020.
American Idol: Season 18
Episode: “This Is Me, Part 2”
Performance: “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood, Whitney Houston; “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson from the Auditions and Hollywood Week rounds
Audition: Aliana Jester audition
“Higher Love” was the first single released in 1986 by English singer Steve Winwood from his fourth solo LP, Back in the High Life. It topped the Billboard 100 chart, the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart and earned Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Whitney Houston covered the song in 1990.
“Because of You” was released in August 2005 as the third single from Kelly Clarkson‘s second studio album Breakaway. It peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over 2 million digital downloads in the United States.
American Idol Season 18 premiered at 8PM, February 16, 2020 on ABC television and will air Sundays at 8/7c until the live shows. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, filming of American Idol is temporarily suspended and contestants were sent home. Production is expected to resume in late April, with all of the contestants performing from their homes.
Ryan Seacrest continues his role as the show’s host and Bobby Bones returns as the in-house mentor. Despite budget cuts, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie come back as judges for their third season of the series.
Katy Perry (age 35) is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. After singing in church during her childhood, she pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager and signed with Red Hill Records. Her debut studio album Katy Hudson under her birth name was released in 2001, but it was commercially unsuccessful. She moved to Los Angeles the following year and ventured into secular music after Red Hill ceased operations and she began working with producers Glen Ballard, Dr. Luke, and Max Martin. After adopting the stage name Katy Perry and being dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group and Columbia Records, she signed a recording contract with Capitol Records in April 2007. Perry rose to fame in 2008 with her second album, One of the Boys, containing the singles “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot n Cold”. Her biggest hits include California Gurls, Teenage Dream, Firework, E.T., Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), The One That Got Away, Roar, Dark Horse, and Chained to the Rhythm.
Lionel Richie (age 70) is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor. His recordings with the Commodores and in his solo career made him one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s. His biggest hits while with the Commodores include Sweet Love, Just to Be Close to You, Easy, Brick House, Three Times a Lady, Sail On and Still. As a solo artist, Lionel’s hits includes Truly, You Are, and My Love. He has sold over 90 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.
Luke Bryan (age 43) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He began his music career writing songs for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington – before signing with Capitol Nashville with his cousin, Chad Christopher Boyd, in 2007. His first nine albums have included 23 number-one hits. In 2013, Bryan was named “Entertainer of the Year” by both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association. In 2019, Bryan’s 2013 album Crash My Party received the first Album of the Decade award from the Academy of Country Music. Bryan has sold over seven million albums and 27 million singles worldwide.
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