Look back at 16-Year-Old Scotty McCreery’s ‘American Idol’ Audition That Left Steven Tyler Flabbergasted

Although taking the stage on American Idol back in 2011, fans will remember Scotty McCreery as being a dominant force on the hit show. When he first auditioned in front of the judges, who consisted of Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler, McCreery gained high praise and even fostered a connection with the singers.

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At just 16 years old, McCreery flexes a voice well beyond his age, leaving Lopez grinning cheek-to-check. McCreery opened his audition with a powerful rendition of Josh Turner’s “Your Man.” McCreery then punched his golden ticket with a phenomenal cover of Travis Tritt’s “Put Some Drive in Your Country” that had Tyler floored.

“Well hellfire, save matches, f— a duck, and see what hatches,” Tyler spewed.

With each passing week, McCreery’s stardom expanded. Eventually making his way to the finale, the singer watched as his dreams of winning became reality. Now, over a decade later, McCreery is returning to American Idol for a special performance. 

Scotty McCreery Returning to the ‘American Idol’ Stage

Sharing a post on Twitter, McCreery surprised fans when he announced he was returning to American Idol. “I’m returning to American Idol this Sunday as a performer! Catch me on ABC or stream on Hulu.” Returning to American Idol is a milestone for the singer. Since he won the show, the star released five studio albums. And wanting to make 2024 memorable, McCreery is set to release his newest album, Rise & Fall

Scotty McCreery Gains Entry Into The Grand Ole Opry

Besides working hard in the studio and returning to American Idol, McCreery also gained entry into the Grand Ole Opry. A pillar in country music, the Opry is a sacred place for singers hoping to leave their mark on music. Not taking the moment lightly, he said, “If you’ve ever listened to any of my interviews over the last 15 years of doing this, they’d say, ‘what is your biggest goal?’ and I’d always say, ‘One day I want to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.” 

[RELATED: Watch Scotty McCreery Achieve His Lifelong Dream as Randy Travis and Josh Turner Welcome Him to the Grand Ole Opry Family]

While performing at the Opry was a dream come true for the singer, he received much more when Randy Travis and Josh Turner welcomed him. Shocked, McCreery often referenced Turner when speaking about his inspirations in music. And it appears that Turner is also a fan of McCreery as he insisted, “Scotty’s not only a great singer and songwriter, but he’s a great husband and now father. I’m proud of him, I’m proud to know him, and with artists like him – country music is in great shape.”

With McCreery continuing to forge his own path in the music industry, don’t miss him on American Idol, airing Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. 

(Photo by Catherine Powell/FilmMagic)

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