Jonny West competed in the 18th season of the ABC singing reality show “American Idol.” The singer-songwriter finished in the Top 5.
Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol” Season 18 aired on ABC from February 16, 2020 to May 17, 2020 with Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie as the judges. Because of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the latter episodes of the show featured Sam and her fellow contestants filming from their homes.
West hails from Murrieta, California, United States. Here are 13 more interesting facts about the Californian singer-songwriter:
- He was born in Murrieta on October 19, 1996 to Steve West and Michelle West.
- He was a piano teacher before auditioning for “American Idol.”
- He loves to rap.
- Among his music influences are Nas, Eminem, Hopsin, The Fray and Matt Corby.
- In 2019, he released his debut EP “Oh.” with four songs namely “Glow,” “Feel Like Myself,” “Heaven” and “I’ll See.”
- He is a big fan of Randy Newman.
- He joined “American Idol” Season 18 with his girlfriend Margie Mays, who also competed in the show’s 17th season.
- When he auditioned for “American Idol” Season 18 in Los Angeles, California, he sang his original song “Makin’ Love.”
- He was “American Idol” contestant number 51,021.
- From his apartment in Studio City in Los Angeles, California, he sang “Almost There” from the Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog” and dedicated “Amazing Grace” to his mother and grandmother, who were by his side in the Mother’s Day episode of “American Idol” Season 18.
- In the “American Idol” Season 18 finale, he sang “Makin’ Love” again as well as “Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” by Eddie Money.
- He made up his Skinny Neutron stage name before high school because he moved around a lot in school.
- He has his own band named The Jonny West Band.
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When I was going over what song to sing for the Mother’s Day round I really wanted to do an original where I rap more but it felt inauthentic to what the round called for. I didn’t want to fake a reason to sing something for Mother’s Day that had nothing to do with my mom just so i could rap for the sake of trying to grab more eyes and ears. I didn’t, however, really have an original that fit the setting of a “mother’s themed” performance, so I’d either have to write one or do a cover. The first cover that came to mind for my mom was “Amazing Grace.” I knew the hymn but needed it to go somewhere more for the sake of performance but also didn’t want to do the worship version’s choruses as I didn’t connect with them for the specific sake of what the performance was. Talking it out with one of the vocal coaches he suggested writing my own choruses which I immediately was not up for because I didn’t want to try to write something in a worship vein that I wasn’t qualified to attempt and more so, I didn’t want to assume anything I added would be encouraging to the traditional hymn without sounding corny. But on the theme of my mom it sparked the idea to write a version of “amazing grace” that is specifically about what that phrase and hymn means to her and what I saw it do in her life as I grew up. So that’s what I did. Glad I got to share hope u like it