American Idol auditions are still underway for the show's sixth season on ABC, and a recent audition by a contestant named Preston Duffee left an impression on the judges. In the pre-audition segment, the 21-year-old shared that he lost his mother -- who suffered from bipolar disorder and depression -- to suicide. Duffee said his mother was "extremely supportive" of his desire to pursue music, and he revealed that he and his sister struggled with homelessness after her death.
After sharing his heartbreaking story, Duffee launched into his audition by performing an original song -- the first one he's ever written -- called "Something to Write About." He played guitar while singing the tune about turning life difficulties into songs, and his passion was clear during the performance. The judges were impressed by Duffee's songwriting ability, and the young singer received a special compliment from judge Katy Perry.
"I just feel like I'm looking at a young Luke Bryan," Perry said. Duffee then responded by saying the "ladies at church" call him Luke.
Judge Lionel Richie had nothing but good things to say to the contestant as well, telling him he could have a successful career as a songwriter.
"Songwriting is a skill, and you nailed that," Richie said. "If you can do about 40 more of that, you will have a great mailbox career. Just mail in your money."
When it came time for judge Bryan to share his opinion, he warned Duffee, "I'm gonna shoot you straight." Bryan told Duffee that when he makes it to Hollywood week, he may find that he doesn't have the strongest male voice in the competition, but Bryan has faith in his songwriting ability and the potential of his voice.
"Man, you've got a really bright future as a songwriter, and your voice will grow and be stronger," Bryan said.
In the end, Duffee left the audition with three yes votes from the three judges, and he will face the other contestants during Hollywood week.
American Idol airs on ABC every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
READ MORE: 'American Idol': 25-Year-Old Truck Driver Performs George Strait Classic With Luke Bryan
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