Douglas Kiker, a garbage man and father from Mobile, Alabama, wowed Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan on the season premiere of American Idol. Despite having never performed in public, Kiker delivered a soulful rendition of Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road."
Prior to performing, Kiker shared that his only singing experience was performing from the back of a garbage truck. He said he was auditioning to show his two-year-old daughter that she can do anything she sets out to do. Idol judge Lionel Richie told the 27-year-old "warm up" with the crowd so he could get one performance under his belt before his audition.
When he returned, Luke Bryan accompanied Kiker on piano to help the aspiring singer show off his range.
Kiker's talent and lovable spirit made for one of the singing competition's sweetest auditions to date and earned him a ticket to Hollywood.
"I want us all to let you know, you're a hell of a man," Richie told Kiker. "I want you to come get this ticket. You're going to Hollywood!"
Perry encouraged the Alabama native to stay true to who he is.
"You just stay who you are and you're gonna go far," Perry said. "And you're going to take your daughter with you to the highest hieghts...That wasn't garbage. That was greatness."
"Bless the Broken Road," which has appeared on Idol many times, was written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd and Jeff Hanna. Rascal Flatts recorded the song in 2004. In 2005, the band appeared on American Idol to perform the song with season 4 champion Carrie Underwood.