McKayla Stacey Follows in Father Phil Stacey’s Footsteps on ‘American Idol’

To say sixteen-year-old McKayla Stacey was born to be on American Idol would not be far from the truth.

Videos by American Songwriter

Stacey came into this world just as her father, Phil Stacey, was securing his own golden ticket to Hollywood. The Stacey patriarch went on to be a top-six finalist on Season 6 of the singing competition show. Now, his daughter is following in his footsteps.

The younger Stacey auditioned in front of the panel of judges – made up of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie – Sunday night (Feb. 26) with her father in tow, accompanying her on the piano. Ahead of Stacey’s performance of Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to Be Mine,” the Wichita, Kansas natives took a trip down memory lane.

The episode included footage of her father’s own audition, singing “My Girl” by The Temptations, then running to meet his newborn daughter at the hospital.

“Even as a little kid, I was definitely aware of the impact American Idol made on our life,” the sixteen-year-old shared before her audition. “I remember feeling so cool going on Youtube and searching my dad’s audition and watching it and being able to see that … I knew how much it changed our life as a family.”

Former Idol judge Paula Abdul even dropped in via video message, surprising the father-daughter pair with words of encouragement. She recalled memories with the elder Stacey, calling his daughter’s own audition a “full circle” moment. Abdul closed off with “I can’t wait to hear you sing, McKayla.”

In the audition room, the Season 21 hopeful grabbed the judges with her confidence and unwavering eye contact. Several critiques from the judges pointed out her inexperience and the overall believability in her delivery. In the end, it was a “no” from Bryan who said she was “a little young in this journey.” Perry and Richie were both a “yes,” the latter saying, “I think you’re worth rolling the dice.”

A resounding “You’re going to Hollywood” sent the Staceys into celebration. Check out McKayla Stacey’s audition, below.

Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

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