Cate Gartner had the American Idol judges eating out of the palm of her hand when she auditioned with an original song about being 16 and pregnant.

The heartwarming lyrics are a love letter to her 2-year-old son, Cooper.

"When everything seems wrong, I may not make it right / But you will have my hand and I will always hold you tight / So you don't have to worry about what tomorrow brings / I'll be here to carry you until you find your wings / They say I'm too young and I don't know what I'm supposed to do / But I know one thing's for sure that I love you more than anything I had before, before," she sings with conviction.

"And I didn't know I needed you after everything my heart had been through / Every moment that I walk with you I learn things I never knew / With all of my love I'll hold onto you and make sure every dream comes true / And it's not how I thought it'd turn out, but the place that I call home now / It's anywhere or time that I'm with you / It's anywhere or time that I'm with you," Gartner continues, delivering the final lyrics.

The performance earned her a standing ovation from the judges:

Lionel Richie applauded Gartner's songwriting ability and the way that her voice is able to carry the story within the lyrics. Katy Perry agreed, commending her natural ability to captivate an audience.

"The sky's the limit, really, in my opinion, Luke Bryan tells the contestant. "And I hear like this Alison Krauss innocence. You didn't try to come up with these big fancy words to describe what your feeling were in the moment that you wrote the song, and that's how you connect with the masses."

The 18-year-old stay-at-home mom was awarded a Golden Ticket to Hollywood after she earned a yes from all three judges.

Gartner will now travel to Hollywood for the next round of the competition.

American Idol airs Sunday and Mondays on ABC. Fans can also stream the show on Hulu.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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