American Idol contestant Ethan Payne had the chance to perform with Luke Bryan during his audition.
The 15-year-old was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an infant, and Luke had previously invited him to sing on stage at one of his concerts two years prior through Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Few rising vocalists can say they landed a spot on American Idol. Even fewer can claim they jammed out with judge Luke Bryan ever, much less during the show's audition. Enter Ethan Payne, 15, who's managed to score a coveted ticket to Hollywood and perform with Luke. Twice.
The Georgia teen, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an 18-month-old, first crossed paths with Luke in October 2016. Ethan requested to meet Luke through Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the experience changed his singing career forever.
What initially began as a meaningful meet-and-greet quickly transformed into a dream come true when Luke requested Ethan's impeccable vocals at one of his 50,000-person shows in Dallas. The "Play It Again" musician even sent the then-13-year-old home with one of his guitars (ok, CRYING).
Fast forward two years, and Luke immediately recognized his former concert companion as he took the American Idol auditions stage. "I know this feller," he mused when Ethan appeared. Tugging on our heartstrings even more, the young singer came armed with the guitar Luke gifted him.
But it gets better - Ethan turned the tables and invited the popular country artist to accompany him this time around as he started strumming the chords to Luke's "Do I." Naturally, he obliged. "He came to Texas to show me up, now he done come to American Idol to show me up," Luke joked as he strapped on his own guitar and stood beside the teenager once more.
The 15-year-old kicked off the tune while both performers played their respective instruments in sync. Luke's voice took over shortly after for the best dang unrehearsed duet we've ever encountered.
When judge Katy Perry commented on Ethan's confidence after the stellar joint performance, he explained that "it's like [Luke's] my friend!" And, to no one's surprise, this amazing friendship helped land him a trip to Hollywood. We can't wait to see what he has planned next!
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