Indiana woman to compete on American Idol season 7

Kennedy Reid is ready to make her Hollywood dreams come true as American Idol kicks off season 7 Sunday at 8 p.m. on WHAS11.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A New Albany, Indiana singer is ready to show the world she has what it takes to become the next American Idol.

The seventh season of American Idol is reminding every contestant that “home is where the dream starts, but Idol is where the dream takes off.”

The show will tap into more homegrown talent this season.

That’s where 23-year-old Kennedy Reid comes in.

Reid is a local recording artist who also works as a funeral director and embalmer with Spring Valley Funeral Home.

The judges were taken aback to learn Reid’s career path, but also intrigued by her dazzling pink “coffin nails.” 

“Coffin really has deep meaning for you,” Perry said jokingly. 

Reid auditioned alongside her pianist and friend Jean Ann in front of judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Blake Shelton giving her best rendition of “River Deep, Mountain High” by the late rock icon Tina Turner. 

Before she was given her critique, Jean Ann explains she and Reid met at John Conlee concert. 

The irony, Shelton shares, Conlee used to sing at funerals.

Jean begins to play Conlee’s “Rose Colored Glasses” as Shelton breaks into song. Here, Reid gives a more laidback singing style as she and Shelton begin to duet. 

After that moment, they get down to business. 

“You have all the tools, it’s just feeling a little pageanty,” Shelton said. 

Richie felt like she sang the wrong song but had the right elements. He said she felt more relaxed singing Conlee’s song.

“You’ve got a great voice but do I think you’re scared to death?” Perry said. “I’m not sure you’re ready for it, but you’re the kind of character and person where I just want to throw you in there.” 

The reception was mixed but eventually she made it through the moment.

“Let’s give her a break from death and show her what life is all about. I’m going to give you a yes,” Perry said. 

Yes, Reid is headed to Hollywood! 

Check out Reid’s full audition below. 

WHAS11’s Grace McKenna talked on-on-one with Reid before her audition aired. 

The primarily-country singer said she is inspired by artists of every age of the genre, from Dolly Parton to Jelly Roll. She feels country music is really having a hey day right now. 

Reid got her musical start in high school theatre and singing at nursing homes. When people tune in to American Idol this season, she hopes they get to know the hometown girl from Sellersburg. 

 “I’m just a small town girl, I’m totally out of my element right now, but I’m learning so much and I’m so exited to share this experience with everybody. I’m just a down to earth person that loves music and I want to share my gift with the world,” she said. 

Reid revealed a friend of a friend actually submitted her tape to the show, and she never imagined making it to live auditions. 

“Other than Tennessee and Florida, that’s as far as I’ve been for traveling,” she said. “So LA was pretty far for me but it was absolutely amazing, I met some great people along the way and I’m just so blessed that I got the opportunity.” 

Her family and friends held a special watch party Sunday night where WHAS11 caught up with Reid following the airing of her audition. 

“That was actually the first time I’ve seen it since the actual audition,” she said. “I’m just so blessed. Watching it back makes me so excited and I just feel honored to be holding this [the Hollywood ticket] in my hand.”

WHAS11’s Grace McKenna will have more on Kennedy’s story on Monday’s Good Morning Kentuckiana beginning at 5 a.m.

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