Who Is Isabel Gonzalez From ‘American Idol’?
Isabel Gonzalez just about charmed the pants off of the ‘American Idol’ judges during Wednesday night's audition episode (Jan. 23). At only 16, she has a rich and powerful voice is undeniably easy on the ears. Where on earth did this talented singer come from?
Hailing from Georgia, she attends Alpharetta High School as a junior. Last September, ‘Idol’ judge Randy Jackson paid a visit to the school for a surprise audition initiated by her aunt, who’s always been a strong believer in her niece’s musical abilities. After convincing Jackson that she could sing, Gonzalez then went on to perform in front of his fellow panelists: Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Her delivery of Sam Cooke’s ‘Nothing Can Change This Love’ impressed every single one of the judges and left them wanting more.
An honor student, Gonzalez is also driven and motivated in areas outside of the classroom. She’s a stunning pianist and has been actively involved in Metro Music Makers, an organization that puts on events and recitals at local coffee houses, community service centers and festivals – she’s even the featured artist on their YouTube channel!
PopCrush recently had the pleasure of speaking with Allison Boyd, the President of Metro Music Makers, Inc., who has known and been working with Gonzalez for years. “She really found her voice in middle school,” said Boyd. “It’s not like she woke up one morning and thought, ‘I’m going to sing today!’ She’s been focused on that goal for years and has been diligently working toward that.”
“She’s just starting to write her own songs,” Boyd explained. “‘One in a Million’ was debuted at a showcase we held last summer. That particular song is about a secret crush she has – I can’t tell you who it is, but it’s someone famous!” Check out the videos below to watch Gonzalez perform that original song, ‘One in a Million,’ along with several covers.
It’s important to note that Gonzalez has an amazing support system in addition to her aunt, made up of friends and family members who couldn’t be more thrilled for her. Music is deeply rooted in her family – her father is also a talented pianist, and her next eldest sister plays drums and bass (they’ve even done duets together!).
Gonzalez has a voice and poise that transcend her youth, but don’t let those things fool you – she’s still a teenager at heart, and it’s refreshing to see that the ‘Idol’ recognition hasn’t gone to her head. “She’ll readily admit that she still gets nervous – but that’s just part of it, you just have to work through it,” Boyd remarked. “We’re really excited that she’s a shining example for all our other students … She’s just a regular kid that has stayed focused and been diligent. She’s an ideal student and an excellent example of what you can accomplish if you just stick with it through thick and thin.”
Her ‘Idol’ experience isn’t her first venture into reality singing competitions – she previously auditioned for ‘America’s Got Talent’ as well as ‘X Factor' – but it looks like her perseverance has certainly paid off.
*SPOILER ALERT* Following her overwhelming success at Wednesday's audition, Gonzalez will go on to Las Vegas. What do you think? Does she have what it takes to be the next ‘American Idol’?
Watch Isabel Gonzalez Perform Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’
Watch Isabel Gonzalez Perform Journey’s ‘Open Arms’
Watch Isabel Gonzalez Perform Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’
Watch Isabel Gonzalez Perform an Original Song, ‘One in a Million’