15-Year-Old With “Old Soul” Wows ‘American Idol’ Judges With Jason Isbell Cover

American Idol / YouTube

Triston Harper, a 15-year-old from McIntosh, Alabama, left a lasting impression following his American Idol audition.

Before he sang, Triston was asked by the judges to tell them about himself. “I grew up in a small town and I’ve been through a lot in my life,” the singer started. In the pre-recorded video of Triston’s life journey, he shares that he’s lived in McIntosh for most of his life.

“I grew up right here since I was born basically. I wouldn’t trade McIntosh for nothing. There just ain’t no place like home.”

“Was it nice growing up?” Harper was asked about his childhood. He answered “You have your ups and downs. At least I had.”

“By the age of 11 years old, my mom was with my stepdad. He was getting very abusive,” Harper said. “We had to leave McIntosh, then everything, it went sideways just like that.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Triston Harper (@tristonharpermusic)

Triston and his mom were left homeless on the sidewalk in Arkansas.

“The lowest part of my life was when me and my momma had gotten homeless and was sleeping on the sidewalk. I had just turned 12,” Harper shared.

Triston’s mom appeared on the video. Through her tears she said, “Life has been hard. That’s a lot of the reasons why he’s so mature like he is, because he’s had to take on the role at a very young age.”

The 15-year-old continued, “I know it was not easy me watching my mom sit there and crying at night, and not knowing what to do. I had got to that point where I said ‘God, I need you to help me,’ and my papa, he drove all the way from Alabama to Arkansas non-stop to come get us.”

“My momma wanted us to be something, that’s why I got into music.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Triston Harper (@tristonharpermusic)

RELATED: Jelly Roll To Join ‘American Idol’ As A Guest Mentor 

Harper played the guitar and sang a beautiful rendition of “Cover Me Up.”

Originally released by Jason Isbell in 2013, “Cover Me Up” has been brought back to life in recent years by country singer Morgan Wallen following his 2021 cover of the song.

Harper performed a heart-felt cover of the song impressing the judges. He accompanied himself with the guitar, and belted out the lyrics with his raspy, country voice.

“You were so authentic, so connected to yourself, singing from your soul,” Katy Perry said of the performance. “It wasn’t perfect, but it resonated with me. It was really good. I’m impressed.”

Bryan commented that he could spend an afternoon with the 15-year-old and easily correct a couple technical things in Harper’s voice.

“Anything that you’re doing technically-wise is because you’re fifteen. I could have an afternoon with you and say ‘Don’t do that anymore!’ Just like ‘Don’t do those two things,’ and man,” Luke said, trailing off.

All three judges ultimately gave him a “yes,” meaning Triston Harper is well on his way to Hollywood. American Idol fans are excited to see more of Harper in the coming weeks!

“I never thought I’d be able to tell my story to American Idol, ever. Makes me happy just thinking about it.”

Watch Triston Harper sing “Cover Me Up” in the video below.

Want to save this article?

Get this sent to your inbox, plus, get new articles & videos from us every week!

Sponsors / Partners

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info

Unapologetically Country

Receive daily updates with the best country music videos, news, and more!