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Marion County high schooler receives ‘American Idol’ golden ticket

Marion County native Layla Spring appeared on Sunday’s premier episode of “American Idol” and received a golden ticket from judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
Marion County native Layla Spring appeared on Sunday’s premier episode of “American Idol” and received a golden ticket from judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. ABC

After her Southern twang and country rendition of a Jackson 5 favorite impressed the “American Idol” judges, a Marion County high schooler is on her way to Hollywood.

Layla Spring, a 16-year-old from Lebanon, made it to the next round when she received a golden ticket for her performance of “Who’s Loving You,” which was shown in Sunday’s premiere.

The Marion County High School student entered the judging room with her 7-year-old sister, Dyxie, and told Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan they were “just here to put on a show for y’all.”

Following a duet by the two girls, Layla showcased the skills that have made her a musical celebrity in Marion County.

“She’s got a good voice,” chimed in Bryan. Perry added, “I think it would really benefit her to go to Hollywood because what you will learn will be so valuable to you.”

Layla was surprised her audition was shown in the premiere. She was featured in promotional ads of the season leading up to the premiere.

“I didn’t think that I would actually be on the show, but I had always dreamed of being on it and always wanted to, I wished and hoped for it,” Spring told the Lebanon Enterprise. “When it came back out, I got the guts to go and audition, and it was so much fun.”

She called the Nashville audition the best experience of her life.

“I wouldn’t trade anything about it for the world. It was so fun,” she said. “The judges were so nice and so down to earth and they were so gorgeous.”

Spring, who calls Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson her idols according to the Courier-Journal, will appear in Hollywood Week episodes, which begin March 26.

Cody Gabriel Martin, a University of Louisville student, also earned a Golden Ticket in Sunday’s episode.

Mike Stunson: 859-231-1324, @mike_stunson

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