Contestant Ethan Payne reunites with Bryan after getting the chance to perform with the country star through the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2016.
Ethan Payne’s story is that of a boy diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 18 months of age. He knows that this disease has no cure, but his mother and grandmother told him to reach for the stars, “and that’s what I’m doing” the budding country artist confidently proclaimed.
Back in 2016, Ethan had the chance to perform before a crowd of 50,000 people with Luke Bryan through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The country artist gave the young singer his guitar and the young man’s life “has been different ever since that night.” Fast forward to Wednesday’s episode, and the two had a moving reunion before the world on the Idol audition stage.
Ethan Payne walked on to the stage carrying the guitar given to him years ago by Luke Bryan, and Bryan immediately remembers him and says “I know this guy.” Luke Bryan knowing a contestant shocked Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
Ethan’s spoke with the judges a bit and told the complete story to them about having cystic fibrosis and how it affects him. He proceeds to explain to them how he knows Luke Bryan. Payne then invited Luke up to sing with him for his audition, and Bryan gladly accepted.
At the end of the audition, the judges were captivated by Ethan’s performance. Happily, the contestant received their vote of approval, and the young musician will be heading to the next phase of the show in Hollywood.
Everyone is looking forward to seeing the budding country artist on the upcoming episodes of American Idol. To donate to help those like Ethan in need, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.