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Former Foster Kid Takes On “American Idol,” And The Judges Can’t Stop Crying.

Lionel Richie Hugs American Idol contestant Cam Amen

Putting the past behind us isn’t always easy, but moving on is necessary if we want to live our best lives.

Although he’s only 27 years old, Cam Amen has already experienced a lifetime of worries. He was just a teenager in Indiana when his mother abandoned him and his two younger siblings, and he spent the next few years being shuffled between foster homes.

“I just remember being taken out of my classroom by police officers,” he told the judges during his “American Idol” audition. “We were crying and waiting for mom. She never came.”

The moment Cam turned 18, he took in his younger siblings to give them the stable, loving home they all needed and deserved. He spent five years raising his brother and sister on his own. They’re now 20 and 21, respectively, making Cam a sort of atypical “empty nester!”

Now that he has time to focus on his own career, Cam is ready to take on the world. In his audition for the popular talent competition, he tearfully relayed his life story to Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, before launching into an emotional version of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

By the time he finished, all of the judges were wiping away tears. Lionel couldn’t wait to jump out of his chair to give the young singer a big hug, and his fellow judges were quick to join in.

“You’ve been through a lot, but the rest of your life is waiting on you,” Lionel told Cam.

“I can’t hardly breathe,” Luke agreed. “This is our sixth year here, and stylistically… your style is so beautifully unique.”

“I don’t have anyone I’ve seen in this chair to compare you to,” Luke added.

With a “yes” vote from all three judges, Cam was already a shoo-in for the next round when the judges presented him with an even greater honor: one of the Platinum Tickets! For the uninitiated, Platinum Tickets advance the contestant straight to Hollywood, where they get to skip the first round of competition.

Cam’s audition has now been viewed over 3.2 million times on YouTube! His story hits us right in the heart, and we wish him all the best as he earns the life he has always envisioned for himself and his family!

Watch Cam’s tearful audition in the player below, and don’t forget to share.

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