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“Music Can Heal.” Bullied Teen Hypnotizes “American Idol” Judges With Soulful Voice.

“american idol” judges katy perry, luke bryan, and lionel richie gathering for a group hug with 18-year-old contestant douglas mills who just auditioned with “strange fruit” by billie holiday

Douglas Mills has been dealing with bullies since he was a child, but thanks to some help from those who love him, this 18-year-old is finding the strength to share his voice.

After years of being too afraid to audition for American Idol, he won the VIP affiliate ticket pass from ABC Houston –this guaranteed him the opportunity to sing in front of celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. In fact, he didn’t even apply himself – it was a total surprise that was given to him at his school, Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

As nervous as Douglas was to stand in front of the judges and the millions of people who would be watching him later on television, he was also indescribably excited for the opportunity he was given.

“Music is my life, basically,” Douglas said. “My safe place from doubters and haters and people who just don’t like me in general … Music can heal. It helps you love yourself for who you are.”

Because music holds such a special place in his life, it’s no wonder that Douglas chose a song that’s especially close to his heart: “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. He chose this somber, powerful song especially for the Black community –and he absolutely crushed it.

As soon as he began to sing, all three judges became mesmerized by Douglas’ soothing voice. Even when the song ended, they had a difficult time finding the words to describe what it was like to watch him perform.

“I blanked out, passed out, woke up,” Richie, the first judge to speak, said. “Young man, that was superb.”

Bryan added, “It was like you took our bodies and you hypnotized us. You just took us on a journey … I don’t know. I’m speechless about it.”

It took a minute for the weight of the judges’ words to fully sink in, but once they confirmed Douglas was going to Hollywood, it suddenly became very real. All three of them were quick to give him a hug, all the while repeating how amazed they were that he exists. With those words, the happy tears began to flow!

Watch Douglas’ unforgettable performance below and don’t forget to share.

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