Maurice impressed the American Idol judges with his raspy vocals and stunning cover of a Morgan Wallen hit during the final round of Idol auditions on March 27.
The 22-year-old busker from South Carolina had a tough upbringing after being placed in foster care at a very young age.
“When I was born, I was taken away from my mom because she wasn’t fit to be a mom at the time and they really know where or what my dad was up to. So, growing up wasn’t the easiest,” the contestant explained in a clip that was displayed prior to his audition.
After being bounced around in the foster care system and placed in ten different home, Maurice finally found his forever home with his foster father, Curtis, who raised him and taught him everything he knows about music.
“My last foster parent was a band director in South Carolina and not only did he teach me how to understand music, but he taught me multiple instruments and how to write music. Everything that I’ve done up to this point is because of Curtis,” he continued. “I never knew what a father was until he came into my life. I always had this idea just from movies, but he literally became a fatter for me and I didn’t have to look for one anymore.”
He shared that while in one foster home, his caretakers played lots of country songs, so it motivated him to become a singer within the genre.
Maurice Covered Morgan Wallen’s “Whiskey Glasses” For His Idol Audition
Wearing blue jeans, a belt bucket and black button-up shirt, Maurice auditioned with a cover of Morgan Wallen’s fan-favorite hit, “Whiskey Glasses,” while strumming his acoustic guitar in front of the Idol judges.
After putting his raspy vocals on full display, Maurice earned praise from Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.
“Some of those signature things that you’re doing, like, if you could really fine-tune them, they could actually be something that sets you apart, and I think you have a chance to just calm down 10%,” Bryan said.
“Maurice, I think that 10% is a lot because you’re singing outside, you are busking and you’re trying to get the attention… but I don’t think you need to try as hard when you’re in the room and especially if you get to have a mic,” Perry added.
“You’ve got flavor and storytelling,” Richie gushed.
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— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) March 28, 2022
After Richie, Perry and Bryan gushed over the aspiring singer’s talent, he got three unanimous ‘yes’ votes and earned a golden ticket to Hollywood.
American Idol returns every Sunday and Monday at 8/7c on ABC.