The milestone 20th season of American Idol is filled with promising artists, including Noah Thompson, who became an instant fan-favorite following his memorable Idol audition.
The now 20-year-old Kentucky native and former construction worker auditioned for the show with Kameron Marlowe’s “Giving You Up,” which earned recognition from Marlowe and praise from Lionel Richie.
“You got a real-life, story-telling, badass voice,” Richie told him at the time. “It’s believable. I don’t know what you were expecting… I know you weren’t expecting that. That’s why I said it.”
Throughout the season, Thompson has covered songs such as Cam’s “Burning House” and The SteelDrivers’ “Blue Side Of The Mountain.”
Katy Perry once called Thompson “the American Dream,” while Luke Bryan later declared Thompson “might win the whole competition” after he praised the “magic quality” he has “going on in [his] voice.”
Thompson has also impressed the Idol judges and America with countrified renditions of pop hits such as Noah Cyrus’ “July,” Rihanna’s “Stay,” and Harry Styles’ “Falling.”
As Noah Thompson continues her American Idol journey, here are 12 fun facts about the standout contestant.
His Father Influenced Him To Become A Musician
Thompson’s dad gave him his first guitar and taught him how to play his first chords.
“As a child, I was just always around music, my dad gave me his guitar. Dad showed me the simplest of chords and I kind of just took off,” Thompson recently recalled. “My dad really wanted to be in music, that was his dream also. Kind of the whole point of me being here, for my dad. I wanted to do it almost for the both of us.”
“[My dad] believes me in obviously, but I never believed in myself, so for me to have made it this far it’s definitely a confidence booster. I want this to be something that me and [my son] Walker could do together too,” he added. “I think he’s going to have a voice on him probably, he’s got a hell of a yelling voice, that’s for sure.”
Influenced By Country And Rock
The standout Idol contestant credits Chris Stapleton, Kameron Marlowe, John Mayer and Neil Young as musical influences.
“I grew up listening to more rock than anything but eventually started loving country music. I just love storytelling music,” Thompson shared.
His First Live Performance Was During High School
Thompson first performed in front of a live audience at his high school talent show several years ago.
His Friend Arthur Pushed Him To Audition For American Idol
Thompson’s friend and co-worker, Arthur, signed him up for the competition after hearing his impressive vocals while working alongside him on construction sites.
“He’s not born to be working with us, he’s gifted…” Arthur said.
Arthur actually recorded Thompson’s initial virtual audition video for ‘Idol Across America.’ Thompson previously admitted that he never had the confidence to sign himself up.
He Never Thought He Would Make It In The Competition
Thompson never thought he would make it far on American Idol.
“Just a few months ago, I could never imagine pursuing something like this, If it weren’t for Arthur, I wouldn’t have ever signed up for this show. I would’ve never had the confidence. It’s pretty cool to know somebody believes in you more than you believe in yourself,” Thompson said.
His Audition Caught the Attention of a Country Star
Thompson auditioned with Kameron Marlowe’s “Giving You Up,” and his performance was so impressive that it actually caught the attention Marlowe.
Following his audition on Idol, Marlowe reached out to Thompson and offered him some advice as he wanted to offer him the same full circle moment Luke Combs offered him when he auditioned with one of his songs on NBC’s The Voice.
“I just told him to keep pursuing music and to keep writing and keep journeying on in this crazy business that we’re in,” Marlowe told Music Mayhem.
Thompson Is A Father
He has a 9-month-old son named Walker with his longtime girlfriend Angel Dixon, who he has been dating since 2018.
“I have a little boy, he just turned 7 months. I recently became a Dad, my little boy, he’s my strive for all this,” Thompson shared. “Blows my mind that I’m even here, this could give me the opportunity to give my son an entire new life, a better life.”
The fast-rising singer hopes to continue on this journey as he thinks it could offer him and his son “a completely different life.”
“I never wanted much for myself until we had Walker,” said Thompson. “I don’t want to ever feel like I’m struggling to support him.”
Luke Bryan Thinks He Is A Top Contender
During a recent interview with Access, the country superstar shared that as the “country judge on the panel,” he thinks Noah Thompson and HunterGirl have “a tremendous opportunity to really connect with a lot of our viewers out there.”
“Country singers have always done really, really well on Idol, so, I would put them as heavy front-runners for me,” Bryan continued.
“You might win the whole competition,” Bryan previously told Thompson after he performed a cover of The SteelDrivers.
Thompson’s Hometown Is Already Celebrating His Idol Success
Thompson’s Kentucky hometown is embracing his success. A local establishment in Louisa even named a hot tea after him.
His hometown also put his face and ‘#TeamNoah’ on a gas station billboard.
Fans And Idol Judges Appreciate His Authenticity
Fans have grown to adore how humble Thompson is, and Idol judges have made numerous comments on his genuineness.
“Noah you just deserve the world. You are a great human being. You’re so humble and beautiful,” Katy Perry shared.
“Yeah, you’re going to aw shucks your way to the top and it’s authentic,” Luke Bryan said.
Thompson Wows Idol Viewers With Shocking Song Choices
Despite being a country singer, Thompson often chooses to sing countrified renditions of pop hits such as Rihanna’s “Stay,” Noah Cyrus’ “July,” and Harry Styles’ “Falling.”
He Has Original Music
Thompson has uploaded two original songs on his YouTube Channel, one called “Pedestal” and “Hearts Painted Black.”