Vahhley is going to Hollywood after stunning 'Idol' audition

Watch American Idol Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on ABC!

BySandy Kenyon and and Bob Monek WABC logo
Monday, March 15, 2021
From a homeless shelter to the American Idol stage
EMBED <>More Videos

New York City's Vahhley shares her story with Sandy Kenyon

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- Vahhley is going to Hollywood after securing a golden ticket from her 'American Idol' audition.

After performing Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time" for her American Idol audition, Luke Bryan praised Vahhley's voice and her fight.

Lionel Richie assured Vahhley that this difficult moment of hers won't last forever, and Katy Perry just wants Vahhley to believe in herself, because they believe in her.

Vahhley is a New York City native with an emotional story to share.

She comes to the American Idol stage after spending 8 months in the shelter system.

Vahhley became homeless after her marriage broke up and she and her young son went to live with her mom in Brooklyn.

RELATED | Alyssa Wray, Beane and other memorable moments from the week 4 auditions

"She tells me, 'Vahhley, I really feel like I want you to be the best you can be and I don't want you depending on me your whole life," she said, explaining what led her to move into a shelter first in the Bronx and then in Brooklyn.

"It was really hard being in there for 8 months," Vallhey said. "I was struggling. I didn't have a job. I didn't have much and I didn't know what to do."

While she was staying in the Grand Concourse shelter, the director was aware Vahhley sang and encouraged her to perform at a local fundraiser. Shortly after that fundraiser, the director told her that she should try out for American Idol.

"I never felt confident enough to do it. I always dreamed about doing 'American Idol', but do I really want to try it? I was so scared," Vahhley said.

The director told her that "this was her calling" and she should go for it.

Vahhley took her words to heart and joined the virtual auditions.

RELATED | Claudia Conway gives dramatic debut on 'American Idol' season premiere

She explains in the video what happened next, and what happened on stage as she performed "One Moment In Time" for Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan.

You can learn more about Vahhley's journey in the video above.

Discover more about American Idol here!