Megan Danielle Earns Her “Wings” Singing “Angel From Montgomery” on ‘American Idol’

“You got your wings,” said judge Katy Perry after Megan Danielle sang a spellbinding rendition of “Angel From Montgomery” on American Idol during the Top 12 night of performances on Sunday (April 30).

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The 20-year-old Christian singer from Douglasville, Georgia chose Bonnie Raitt‘s version of the song, originally written by John Prine and released in 1971, to fit the night’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame theme. Raitt was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. She first released her cover of “Angel of Montgomery” on her third album, Streetlights, in 1974, and it’s a song that has remained part of her live setlist since then.

Danielle let herself get lost in the song. Her raspy vocals hugged all the heart-tugging lyrics I am an old woman / Named after my mother / My old man is another / Child who’s grown old and left all three judges stunned by her affecting rendition.

Prior to her performance, former AI season 8 runner-up, Adam Lambert, coached the singer through the song and encouraged her to sing a more stripped-back version of it, instead of the more uptempo version she initially tested out during the rehearsal. “Take it to church a little bit,” said Lambert to the singer. “I think it’s going to give you more of a moment.”

Of Danielle, Lambert added, “She’s the kind of singer that makes the hairs on your arm stand up. [It’s] something you can’t quite put your finger on, sonically.” Lambert added, “It’s people like Megan who make ‘American Idol’ so exciting to watch.”

Following her performance, all three judges were moved by Danielle’s delivery of the Prine classic. “I’m so emotional about what you just did because, what you just did will stand up in any room around the world, at the Grammys, any award show I’ve ever been to,” said Luke Bryan following her performance. “That performance will stand up anywhere.”

Lionel Richie—a 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee who also had his 1983 hit, “All Night Long (All Night),” performed by contestant Lucy Love—said “ditto” to everything Bryan previously stated to Danielle. “It was just a stellar performance,” said Richie.

Visibly touched by Danielle’s presence and performance on stage, Katy Perry told the young singer that she had finally arrived.

“Remember when I was walking away last week and said, ‘Do you finally believe?’ And you said ‘Yes I do,'” asked Perry. “I finally believe in you 100 percent. You brought it.”

Perry added, “You got your wings.”

When the mic was handed back to Danielle, the singer was nearly speechless and added, “Honestly I’m honored. Y’all are just so amazing. I just thank y’all. Thank you.”

Read the full Behind the Song story of “Angel From Montgomery” HERE.
Check out our 2022 interview with Bonnie Raitt HERE.

Photos: ABC / Eric McCandless

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