Redlands Woman's Emotional Audition on American Idol Inspired by Tragedy

Lauren Engle's husband passed away in a car accident that also claimed the life of the couple's dog. 

March 18, 2019
American Idol

Photo: Mark Mainz / Getty Images


A Redlands woman was featured on "American Idol" last night (March 17th), and she's getting attention not only for her beautiful voice, but also her tragic story. 

27-year-old Lauren Engle revealed to the AI judges during her audition that her husband had passed away in 2017 in a car accident that also claimed the life of the couple's dog. 

Lauren admitted that after high school, she'd given up on music, but meeting Garrett had inspired her to get back into it. "Losing him made me realize that I've got nothing else to do but keeping making music and to honor him," she told the judges, even while she continues to grieve. "There's always a light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm still trying to find it. I just want to make him proud."

She went on to perform an original song called "Compass," a tribute to her late husband, with her his brother accompanying her on guitar. 

Following her audition, Katy Perry noted, "You are such a beautiful testimony. One foot in front of the other, and you've made it all the way here."

"You've got a good, good good country voice," approved Luke Bryan. "It's really, really solid."

"You have a real opportunity to inspire a lot of people," added Lionel Richie. 

Watch Lauren's successful audition and story here: