Marybeth Byrd
Screengrab via YouTube

'American Idol': 21-Year-Old Country Radio DJ Stuns Judges With 'If It Hadn't Been For Love'


American Idol contestant Marybeth Byrd astonished the judges when she hit the audition stage with The SteelDrivers' "If It Hadn't Been For Love."

Byrd is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Arkansas who's always dreamed of becoming a country music star. While she loves her day job as a radio DJ, she's ready to finally see if she has what it takes for her musical talents to get her where she wants to go in life. She took the singing competition by storm when she belted out this bluegrass tune with a pop twist.

Byrd had the judges' attention as soon as she walked into the room and introduced herself -- they loved her name. Judge Luke Bryan interrupted Byrd as she introduced herself, only for all three judges to repeat her name in unison.


"That's awesome, perfect!" Bryan gushed, as Byrd continued. She said she made it out to Vegas because she felt the need to "spread her wings" and "have that push" to reach the next level.

"I feel like being here in Las Vegas is me going for it," she said. It only took a few seconds for the judges to make up their minds about sending Byrd to Hollywood.

The performance had to be heard to be believed, as the judges were absolutely delighted by the end of the song.

"You opened your mouth, and it was correct. Perfect. Period," judge Lionel Richie told Byrd. "We were looking at each other going, 'What is going on?'"


Previously, Byrd made waves when she appeared on The Voice. She auditioned for season 17 in 2019, when she was just 18 years old. She sang "Angel from Montgomery" by John Prine for her audition, which won her a spot on Team Legend after hosts Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton ended up squabbling over her.

After becoming a fan favorite addition to the show, Byrd ended up making it to the Top 8, singing Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" as her final song. Upon reflection, she told the Arkansas Times that the show was an "amazing experience." Now that a couple years have passed, it should be interesting to see how she fares on Idol. Our guess? Likely pretty well!

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