Ava Maybee, daughter of Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, auditioned on American Idol with her softer rock rendition of Stevie Wonder’s 1980 hit “Lately,” which pushed her into Hollywood Week, where she performed a more soulful version of The Police’s 1978 hit “Roxanne.”
Accompanied by an acoustic guitar during her first audition, the 20-year-old Maybee succeeded in impressing judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan by crooning Well I’m a man of many wishes / I hope my premonition misses/ But what I really feel / My eyes won’t let me hide / ‘Cause this time could be mean goodbye.
Perry called her vocals a “real alto,” while Richie compared her voice to “remnants of Cher.”
“It started to really open up when the chorus hit,” said Perry.
“It’s a cool alto sound; I think if you went forward you’d be challenged a lot.” Bryan added, “I do feel like you’re an artist. I’m interested to hear and see more of what you’ve got goin’ on.”
Richie even poked fun at the young singer’s name, saying she’s not “Maybee” but “for sure” as all three judges gave her a resounding “yes” to go through to Hollywood Week.
“I made it to the next round,” said Maybee following her first Hollywood Week performance. “If you thought this round was intense, you won’t believe duets. Tune in next Sunday and Monday to [‘American Idol’] to see who makes it out of Hollywood Week and into the Top 24. Wish me luck.”
In an interview prior to her second performance, Maybee said that her father has always been a role model for her. “I like to keep my music separate from my dad because it’s really important for me to make it on my own,” said Maybee. “So I’m here just doing it by myself, and I’m just so excited to be here.”
Maybee added, “I have never been part of anything this big or this exciting before in my life.”
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC