MaKayla Brownlee is a seventeen-year-old singing sensation from southern Kansas who recently finished a successful run on ABC’s American Idol.
Makayla was born into a musical household near Wellington, Kansas. She began singing about the same time she started talking, and was only seven years old when she first performed on stage.
In August of 2019 MaKayla entered a local TV station’s online singing competition and won a front of the line pass to American Idol’s open call auditions in Wichita, Kansas. There she impressed the show’s producers who sent her through to audition for the celebrity judges (Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie) in Sunriver, Oregon. All three of them loved her version of “Travelin’ Soldier” by The Dixie Chicks, and sent her packing for Hollywood with the famous “golden ticket”.
After surviving all three rounds of Hollywood Week, MaKayla earned a spot in The Top 40, and advanced to Hawaii Week at the Aulani Disney Resort on the island of Oahu. Although it would be her final performance of the competition, MaKayla enjoyed performing for over a thousand guests and spectators, on a full-production stage on the resort beach.
Since the age of twelve, MaKayla has been challenged by a medical condition known as neurocardiogenic syncope, a disorder that can sometimes cause fainting and other debilitating symptoms. Her condition came to light during the stress of Hollywood Week, when MaKayla fainted on stage during the final round of competition. American Idol’s cameras captured the event for TV, but they also aired MaKayla coming back on stage after a short while to successfully finish her inspiring rendition of Kasey Musgrave’s “Rainbow”.
That exhilarating moment brought international attention to MaKayla’s performance, as well as her medical condition, which she soon learned was a disorder shared by hundreds of her new fans. That televised segment was one of the highlights of this season’s American Idol broadcasts, and as MaKayla would admit, probably the most rewarding occasion of her life.
Makayla has gained many new followers and fans since her success on American Idol. But as with all entertainers, she has been unable to perform live, due to Covid-19 restrictions. She looks forward to her upcoming performances at The Kansas State Fair, when she will finally have a chance to meet some of them.
MaKayla has also written and recorded her own original music, and released her first music video earlier this year. You can find her 3 song EP on Spotify, iTunes, and other online platforms. You can find her music video, as well as all her American Idol performances on YouTube.com. Follow MaKayla’s journey on her Instagram account at “makaylabrownlee44”.