Watch: Toronto vocalist signed by Simon Cowell at age 10 auditions on latest ‘American Idol’

Unsatisfied with merely wowing thousands by age 10, Toronto native Heather Russell blew judges away during Sunday’s American Idol auditions, a decade after being signed by a former judge.The 20-year-old appeared before judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie in a pre-recorded performance Sunday, managing to both wow her idol and win her own golden ticket to Hollywood.Splitting from her trademark pop and R&B style, Russell stunned judges by belting Perry’s own song “Harleys in Hawaii” for her audition. Perry was introduced as Russell’s own idol.“I’m absolutely in love with (the song) the moment it came out, I listened to it like every day,” Russell told judges during her audition. “I wanted to put my own take on it.”After a goosebumps-worthy performance, Russell was showered with praise from all three judges.“You’re one of the better singers that I’ve heard this year,” said Bryan.“I have never in my life witnessed a voice that had total control. I mean, it’s just phenomenal,” said Richie.Perry gave a more mixed response. “You have the best voice in the world,” she said. “You just gotta learn how to use it. As fun... as it sounded, it felt dead inside.”Despite the criticism, Russell managed to win a unanimous yes from all three judges and a ticket to the next stage in Hollywood.“She’s got a good little voice,” said Perry. “She had no idea how to use it. Once she figures it out, it’ll be really powerful.”At just six years old, Russell started penning her own songs, according to a 2018 Toronto.com article. At nine, she made waves producing and posting her music on YouTube — some with over a million views.Just one year later, she signed onto famed X-Factor creator and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Entertainment.The Canadian sensation released her first EP, titled “Phases,” in 2015. She later returned to her hometown to sign with Toronto’s Gladiator Records, releasing her first full-length album “My Metropolis” in 2018. Her most recent single with Gladiator, “Lights Off,” dropped in 2019.Season 19 of American Idol began airing on ABC starting Feb. 14. Viewers can catch it live on ABC or Citytv every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST.Kevin Jiang is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach him via email: kjiang@thestar.ca

Watch: Toronto vocalist signed by Simon Cowell at age 10 auditions on latest ‘American Idol’

Unsatisfied with merely wowing thousands by age 10, Toronto native Heather Russell blew judges away during Sunday’s American Idol auditions, a decade after being signed by a former judge.

The 20-year-old appeared before judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie in a pre-recorded performance Sunday, managing to both wow her idol and win her own golden ticket to Hollywood.

Splitting from her trademark pop and R&B style, Russell stunned judges by belting Perry’s own song “Harleys in Hawaii” for her audition. Perry was introduced as Russell’s own idol.

“I’m absolutely in love with (the song) the moment it came out, I listened to it like every day,” Russell told judges during her audition. “I wanted to put my own take on it.”

After a goosebumps-worthy performance, Russell was showered with praise from all three judges.

“You’re one of the better singers that I’ve heard this year,” said Bryan.

“I have never in my life witnessed a voice that had total control. I mean, it’s just phenomenal,” said Richie.

Perry gave a more mixed response. “You have the best voice in the world,” she said. “You just gotta learn how to use it. As fun... as it sounded, it felt dead inside.”

Despite the criticism, Russell managed to win a unanimous yes from all three judges and a ticket to the next stage in Hollywood.

“She’s got a good little voice,” said Perry. “She had no idea how to use it. Once she figures it out, it’ll be really powerful.”

At just six years old, Russell started penning her own songs, according to a 2018 Toronto.com article. At nine, she made waves producing and posting her music on YouTube — some with over a million views.

Just one year later, she signed onto famed X-Factor creator and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Entertainment.

The Canadian sensation released her first EP, titled “Phases,” in 2015. She later returned to her hometown to sign with Toronto’s Gladiator Records, releasing her first full-length album “My Metropolis” in 2018. Her most recent single with Gladiator, “Lights Off,” dropped in 2019.

Season 19 of American Idol began airing on ABC starting Feb. 14. Viewers can catch it live on ABC or Citytv every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST.

Kevin Jiang is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach him via email: kjiang@thestar.ca

Source : Toronto Star More