16-Year-Old Caleb Kennedy Wows ‘American Idol’ Crowd With Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again”

A man playing a guitar on a mountain

Since the beginning of this year’s season of American Idol, we’ve been chronicling the journey of 16-year-old country music singer Caleb Kennedy.

The young man from Roebuck, SC, wowed judges during his audition with his gritty performance of his original song “Nowhere” (which is insanely good, by the way), and he’s continued to leave his mark as he’s climbed his way to the top 12 of the show.

His deep, gritty voice gives you a sound that resembles the likes of Luke Combs and Tyler Farr combined, and not gonna lie, he kind of surprised me with his song choice on last night’s show.

He chose Willie Nelson’s legendary hit, “On The Road Again,” which made me wonder how his deep voice would adjust to a song originally sang by a guy with such a high pitch.

Of course, the kid absolutely blew it out of the water.

Before the guitar solo, judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan were on their feet in amazement, with Katy dancing all the way to the end.

It’s been awesome watching this kid grow as he progresses through the show, as he’s very open about his struggles with low self-esteem. He’s even made comments about his “wonky eye,” which makes him wear his hats so low over his face.

However, Perry gave the kid a word of encouragement about the “wonky eye” comment:

“You shouldn’t be worried about your eye, I have a ‘wonk eye’ as well, and I used to be worried about it, and then a bunch of my friends they created a fandom over my ‘wonk eye.'”

It appears those struggles are slowly drifting away, though, because Kennedy is really learning how to take charge of the stage and get the crowd involved.

Once he truly realizes his full potential, the sky could be the limit.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock