Luke Bryan Performing With Previous Make-a-Wish Child Is an All-Time ‘Idol’ Moment
American Idol judge Luke Bryan was surprised by his previous Make-a-Wish recipient Ethan Payne, who showed up for auditions in Iowa on the March 6 episode of the hit reality show.
On Oct. 22, 2016 in Dallas, 15-year-old Payne's wish to meet Bryan was granted. At the time he was 15, and had been two years for the wish to come through. He asked Bryan to perform a song for him — which Bryan did, but Bryan went one step further by teaming up with him on stage in concert to perform "Do I."
Bryan even gave Payne his own personal guitar to take home. And he put it to use: Suffering with cystic fibrosis, Payne still manages to sing beautifully while dealing with the lung disease.
Flash forward to 2019, and Judge Lionel Richie asked if his disease affected his singing. to which Payne replied, "It really affects my lungs and my breathing, yes. There's no cure for it, but singing is definitely my cure for it."
The Georgia native is now at the age to audition officially for the show, and surprise Bryan while he's at it. He fittingly auditioned with his favorite Bryan song, "I Do."
Bryan even joined in on the fun by performing on guitar and even singing along at one point. Even though he's a legendary country artist, Bryan still forgot how to put on his guitar strap for the duet.
After their performance, all of the judges were on their feet applauding. The decision was easy for the judges, in unison yelling "You're going to Hollywood!"
"Absolutely, 100 percent the best day of my life," Payne said while holding his golden ticket.
Keep checking in weekly, as we'll be chronicling these hopefuls' journeys to the top, with a focus on country music offerings.
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