Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

Young Father’s Moving Story Inspires “American Idol” Judges In Emotional Audition.

marcio donaldson american idol

On ABC’s talent competition “American Idol,” every contestant has a story, but some of these stories are more powerful than others.

When Marcio Donaldson walked into the room to audition for a spot on “American Idol,” it was immediately apparent that this was not your ordinary twentysomething with a dream of becoming famous. Marcio has a lot of responsibilities for a man his age; not to mention a lot riding on getting his shot at stardom.

Marcio was carrying a six-month-old infant in his arms.


Back in late 2016, Marcio found out that his sister was expecting. He was over the moon about the opportunity to be an uncle, but tragedy struck when little Rashad was born.

Marcio’s sister just couldn’t care for her little boy.


During his “Idol” audition, he explained that he is now the father of his nephew.

Marcio had grown up in Compton, California, where gangs and drugs are all too common. The young singer spoke about living in a cockroach-infested tenement with his single mother and sister.


As a child, his mom struggled to put food on the table, and eventually, the state intervened and Marcio and his sister were placed in the foster care system. The rest of Marcio’s childhood was not a happy time in his life, and one he wouldn’t wish on anyone.

So, when a social worker and police officer showed up on his doorstep holding his week-old nephew, he knew his life, and Rashad’s were at critical turning points.


Marcio’s sister had fallen victim to the same traps as her mother, having a baby very young and getting hooked on drugs. She was simply unable to care for Rashad.

Forced to decide whether to send the infant into the system or change everything about the life he’d worked so hard to achieve, Marcio knew the answer instantly.

“I’ll take him,” Marcio told the caseworkers. “I didn’t want him to go through what I went through.”


“I had no idea what I was doing, but he’s actually a real gift,” he says now. “I know I made the right decision.”

Marcio had always found refuge in music, finding hope in the vocal talent he’d developed over time. He definitely had a lot riding on this audition. As soon as he entered the room, judge Luke Bryan reached out for little Rashad and asked if he could hold him.


Luke continued to hold Rashad throughout Marcio’s emotional audition, and all of the judges seemed moved by the young man’s story.

Marcio sang “Jealous” by Labrinth, and just moments into his audition it was clear that his talent was very present.


When Marcio was done, he was overcome by emotion and began to weep.

“You’re a good human,” Katy Perry told him.

“I applaud you,” Lionel Richie said before walking over to give Marcio a tight hug.


“Your voice is real,” Luke said. “Is it technically perfect? No, man, but it’s real. You ride that horse just as far as it will take you.” The judges agreed that Marcio had a wonderful reason to succeed – which is often more than enough to “make it.”


“I think we’re always looking for people to sing with their feelings, and I really like that from you,” Katy said. “God bless you for being such an incredible, stand-up man.”


We hope Marcio will go far in “American Idol” and in life, for his sake, and for Rashad’s.

Watch the video below to hear Marcio’s moving audition, and don’t forget to share!

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.