"I'm ready for what the world has to throw at me." Local teen hits American Idol stage


A Rhea County teen will make his singing debut on American Idol this weekend. Drake McCain Taylor calls Spring City, Tennessee his home.

Drake appears to be your typical high school student. He plays basketball and runs track.

But before he earns his diploma, he’s hoping to earn a ticket to Hollywood.

“When I'm singing and bringing smiles on others faces, it's incredible,” said Drake.

His talent started in the church choir.

“Every Sunday I was singing,” said Drake. He loves gospel music above all other genres.

Drake grew up in tight quarters with 10 siblings.

“My mom isn’t normally home. She’s working two shifts, so it’s hard being 17, helping provide for your family, plus going to school,” said Drake.

Music is his escape from the daily grind.

“I'm just ready for what the world has to throw at me,” said Drake.

His drive to make it in the music industry is already paying off. The Rhea County native made it through two competitive rounds before earning his spot on American Idol.

On Sunday, Drake will be singing in front of Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Hopeful those 90 seconds in the audition room will lead to his big break.

“I feel like it's going to be something huge, just have a good feeling about it,” said Drake.

Belting out his Tennessee gospel roots for the world.

You can watch Drake’s American Idol audition on NewsChannel 9 beginning at 8 p.m. EST Sunday, March 10. There will be a viewing party inside Rhea County High School’s auditorium. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

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