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Preacher Moves Judges to Tears on 'American Idol,' Dedicates Song to Toddler Nephew Who Died in Tragic Accident

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An Alabama preacher made his debut on ABC's American Idol last week, and moved the judges to tears with a song dedicated to his nephew. 

"I'm dedicating this to my nephew who passed away this past April," Tyler N. Allen told the judges. "Him and his mother were in an accident. They were hit by an 18-wheeler and they died instantaneously."

Allen sang a rendition of Whitney Houston's I Believe in You and Me.

"The song I am going to sing today is the song I use to sing to him all the time when I would rock him to sleep," he shared. "It's been hard for my family to get through but singing is my way of healing. So when I got the chance to come I said what better way than to honor him than by singing this song."

Allen, 24, shared that his nephew, Noah, was only one-year-old and was just beginning to walk and talk. 

"I never thought that I would have to go through something like this with my family," he said. "We have each other, but that part is still missing. So how do we cope with that?"

"He was my heart," he said during his audition.

Allen, who has been preaching the Gospel since the age of 9, said singing gives him strength and hope. 

"Singing brings me comfort, some type of comfort and peace," he explained. "Though he is not here, I know that he is in a far better place and I know that I will see him again."

Allen's heartfelt performance wowed the judges. 

"It's moving," Katy Perry responded with tears in her eyes. "It's just God-given. It's beautiful".

"You are a star," Lionel Richey remarked. 

Allen will be moving on to the next round of American Idol which begins March 6. 

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.