Meet young dad whose moving story inspired 'American Idol' judges during his emotional audition

Mary Scott
Dec 16, 2018
05:58 P.M.

One young dad came to try his luck at the “American Idol” auditions, but when he told judges the boy wasn’t exactly his child, they loved him even more.


If you think you’ve heard all the moving contestant backstories on “American Idol,” think again and hold your tissues close by for this one.

YouTube/American Idol

YouTube/American Idol

Before he even opened his mouth to sing, Top 24 finalist Marcio Donaldson already had the judges excited when he walked in with a baby in his arms.

“Can I please hold him?” Luke Bryan immediately asked while the other judges, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie fawned over the little guy.

Donaldson revealed that the six-month-old infant, Rashaad, is not his biological son, but his nephew. Rashaad’s birth mother is Donaldson’s sister.

YouTube/American Idol

YouTube/American Idol


In Donaldson’s intro clip, he recalled how his sister couldn’t keep Rashaad, adding that “drugs played a big factor in that.”

To prevent the police and social workers from sending Rashaad into the system, Donaldson adopted him. “He’s changed my life,” Donaldson said as he dedicated his audition to little Rashaad.

Donaldson, 28, knew the kind of life awaiting Rashaad if he was placed in the system. He had a turbulent childhood growing up in Compton.

YouTube/American Idol

YouTube/American Idol

“Growing up in that neighborhood, there was a lot of shooting, a lot of substance abuse, a lot of people who did not even see the age of 13 years old,” Donaldson narrated, adding:


“My mother tried her hardest, but children services ended up placing me and my sister in the system.”

The effects of substance abuse on the streets soon rubbed off on his sister who gave birth to a son she couldn’t keep.

YouTube/American Idol

YouTube/American Idol

When Donaldson was given the options of adopting Rashaad or having him go into the system, he didn’t think twice before making the boy his.

“I didn’t want him to go through what I went through,” Donaldson said sobbing.

After his emotional rendition of “Jealous” by Labyrinth, the judges were full of praises for Donaldson.


Richie went up to give him a hug and Perry referred to him as “an incredible, stand-up man.” Bryan, who held Rashaad throughout his father’s audition, said:

“Your voice is a real voice, and that’s what we’re after. Is it technically perfect? No, but it’s real.”

Donaldson told ABC news that he discovered music during an arts program as a kid and has used it as an outlet ever since.

Watch the tear-jerking audition below:

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Katy Perry & Orlando Bloom’s Blonde Daughter Appeared in Public for the First Time: ‘So Cute’

November 06, 2023

This Man Is a Legendary Musician’s Son – He Called His Mom ‘Dragon’ & His Uncle Got Custody of Him

February 02, 2024

Mickey Middleton Is Bryan Cranston’s Ex-wife Who Is Also an Author

December 15, 2023

Casting Director Shames Black Musician — Story of the Day

January 12, 2024

Inside Mom-of-2 Sandra Bullock's Isolated Hilltop Farm with Chicken Coop She Owned for 15 Years

November 04, 2023

Matthew Perry Said Dad Wouldn't See 'A Dime' of His Millions - Lawyer Talks about Who Will 'Likely' Get It

November 06, 2023

Mark Sanchez's Wife Is the Renowned Actress Perry Mattfeld

November 23, 2023

5 Forgotten Teen Idols – Inside the Lives of Celebrities Now Far from the Spotlight

May 05, 2024

Matthew Perry's Death Had Contributing Factors – Details

December 18, 2023

Matthew Perry Died on Ex Julia Roberts’ 56th Birthday – He Felt like ‘The Luckiest Man’ Being with Her

October 31, 2023

The Loneliness of Fame: Why Matthew Perry, 'Friends' Icon, Never Built a Family

November 09, 2023

Matthew Perry Got Burned by Women Who Wanted His Money & He Felt He Was 'Not Enough' – Inside His Love Life

November 06, 2023

Matthew Perry Became Big Brother of 5 — His 'Beautiful' Siblings Never Turned 'Their Backs' on Him

October 31, 2023

Jennifer Aniston Shares Private Words from Matthew Perry before His Death: 'I'll Keep Them Forever'

November 16, 2023