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This “American Idol” Contestant’s Grandma Gave Him The Inspiration To Pursue Singing After Injury Ended His NFL Dreams

Blake Proehl and Grandma on American Idol

Thanks to American Idol—and his grandma—, Blake Proehl is getting a second chance at living his dreams after an injury took him out of the NFL.

That’s right, before becoming one of Season 22’s most promising contestants, Blake was working hard to become a professional football great. And it was more than just a pipe dream. The 25-year-old was an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings for about three years. 

During his audition, Blake told judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie that his father, Ricky Proehl, was in the NFL for 17 years. He even played with the St. Louis Rams during the 2000 Super Bowl. So athleticism and tradition were engrained in him from birth. 

“I grew up and kind of dedicated everything I know to football,” he said. “My dream was to make it to the NFL.”

Unfortunately, his dream was dashed after he blew out his knee during a preseason practice game with Denver. At the time of the injury, he wasn’t aware it would be the end of his NFL career. So he worked hard to recover. 

According to SI, Blake Proehl’s injury was initially season-ending. The then-rookie hoped surgery would put him back in the game, and he showed determination to fight through. 

“Sometimes God allows things to happen in your life because you were built to withstand the storm. I have put everything I have into this game,” Blake wrote on Instagram at the time. Every ounce of love and passion has been poured into my craft and my goals. But I understand that there are times like these that shine brighter for his greater purpose. I hope that my story will inspire others and show that anything is possible. Road to recovery starts now. Skol.”

While Blake took time off to recover, he discovered his talent for singing. Initially, he used music to process his grief. But when he realized he was never going to get back on the field, he dedicated all of his energy to the goal of becoming a recording artist. 

Blake Proehl’s Grandma is “One of the Main Reasons” He Sings

Blake worked hard behind the scenes to learn the craft. He eventually had his first hit of fame when he shared a video of himself singing Brett Young’s In Case You Didn’t Know to his grandma, Kathy—who had no idea he was a gifted musician. 

Blake Proehl sings to grandma for the first time.

Kathy has been Blake’s number-one supporter since that day. She has been regularly featured on his TikTok page. And he’s gone on the record to say she keeps him moving forward. 

“She’s one of the main reasons I even do this,” Blake said in a story by the Vikings. “I wouldn’t really believe in myself or have confidence in my voice without her.”

To honor his grandma, Blake Proehl brought her along when he auditioned for American Idol. She stood by his side—all smiles—as he reenacted the first time he sang for her. 

Of course, Blake wowed the judges and got a ticket straight to Hollywood after all three judges said he was one of the strongest competitors they’ve ever seen. 

“Listen — every grandma thinks that their grandchildren are great,” Katy told Kathy after Blake’s performance. “BUT YOU’RE RIGHT!”

Watch Blake Proehl make his grandma proud as he competes on American Idol every Sunday beginning at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. 

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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