Chayce Beckham, a 24-year-old resident of Apple Valley, California, reached the next step in his redemption story on Sunday night (May 23) by winning the 19th season of American Idol.
Beyond a raspy, blues-rock voice and a clear affinity for Chris Stapleton, Beckham brought the backstory he reveals in current iTunes hit "23." The song shares that in the past year, Beckham survived a near-fatal car crash and struggled with sobriety.
On the same night fan votes made Beckham your American Idol over fellow Top 3 contestants Willie Spence and Grace Kinstler, Beckham joined Luke Combs onstage for a gorgeous duet of Combs' "Forever After All."
Chayce Beckham's 'Idol' Journey
Beckham reached American Idol's coveted Top 3 for the competition series' 19th season on May 16 after four spot-affirming performances.
First came a stunning interpretation of the Zac Brown Band's musical love story from 2010, "Colder Weather" (the one with Liam Hemsworth in its music video). Luke Bryan praised the realness of both Beckham and his performance.
Beckham also laid it all out there with debut single "23." The No. 1 on iTunes' all-genre song sales chart dives directly into the Idol hopeful's past struggles with alcohol.
"Who have you turned into, I am telling you something from beginning to now, it's a complete transformation," Richie said after Beckham's performance of "23." "you have stepped into your light to the point where I know exactly who you are."
Beckham first wowed judges and viewers with his raspy-voiced cover of Chris Stapleton's "You Should Probably Leave" on March 28 during the Showstopper round. He stopped the show again on May 16 by revisiting one of his strongest performances of the season.
Stapleton, an award-winning country music singer and songwriter, included "You Should Probably Leave" on his 2020 album Starting Over. He co-wrote the song with Chris DuBois and Ashley Gorley.
"There's been something about you, it's gritty, it's real... You sound like a guy that operates heavy machinery. You're not putting on a show, you're just Chayce Beckham," Katy Perry said of Beckham's workman-like performance on March 28.
The Idol hopeful's busy night ended with a duet selected by the May 16 episode's special guest, pop songwriter and producer Finneas. Beckham and Casey Bishop both shone while harmonizing and swapping lines on Finneas' "Break My Heart Again."