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“American Idol” Contestant Sings Original Song During Emotional Audition.

brandon elder american idol

There’s no one way to be a mother. Whether biological or adoptive, there are no hard and fast rules about how to be a mom.

One man who knows that all too well is singer Brandon Elder. His biological mother had him when she was just 15 and heartbreakingly traded him for a car. When a local woman in Birmingham, Alabama, found out about the baby’s harrowing story, she knew that she had to step in.


And that’s how Patricia Elder became a mom.

She didn’t have a partner to help her raise Brandon, but she did have a home and a big space in her heart where the baby could go.

Over the years, Patricia was Brandon’s rock, always pushing him to be the best version of himself and supporting him in every one of his pursuits, including music. Sadly, however, Patricia was diagnosed with cancer when Brandon was in college.


Without a second thought, the dedicated son left school to be by his mother’s side and take care of her while she was sick.

“I started singing a lot in front of her. She liked it so I just kept singing,” he said.

She fought hard, but ultimately, her battle against cancer just wasn’t one she could win. Brandon turned to music for solace after losing the most important person in his life.


In Patricia’s honor, Brandon wrote an original song called “Gone,” and in a leap of faith, he took it in front of “American Idol” judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan. After getting a little background on his tragic story, the judges settled in for his audition, already in awe of his tenacity.

They were instantly moved by his powerful message of love and loss. As he sang, Lionel Richie closed his eyes to take in everything he was hearing, blown away by Brandon’s songwriting skills.


Fortunately, they didn’t just see heart in the singer. They saw a ton of talent, and with three yes votes, he got his big break. Be sure to listen to Brandon Elder’s beautiful song “Gone” in the video below and share his work with the people you love most.

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