American Idol's Katy Perry in tears after Trey Louis shares school shooting story

Music star tells 2018 Sante Fe shooting survivor that the country has 'failed us'

Singer and American Idol judge Katy Perry. AP
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Katy Perry became emotional during an American Idol audition after a singer shared a story about surviving a 2018 school shooting — a video that has now gone viral in a country where such shootings are common.

Trey Louis sang Stone by Whiskey Myers in front of Perry, Georgia country star Luke Bryan and legendary singer-songwriter Lionel Richie.

The mattress salesman received a standing ovation from the three, and then Bryan asked him why he was auditioning for American Idol.

Mr Louis told the panel: "I'm from Santa Fe, Texas. In May of 2018, a gunman walked into my school. I was in Art Room One.

"He shot up Art Room Two before he made his way to Art Room One. I lost a lot of friends. Eight students were killed, two teachers were killed."

He said that Sante Fe has had a "bad rap" since 2018.

Perry became teary and exclaimed, "Our country has [expletive] failed us!"

"You should be singing here because you love music. Because you don't have to go through that. [Expletives] You don't have to lose eight friends. I hope that you remind people we have to change."

Richie said, "We have tolerated this for so long … far too long … to become a norm."

Research in 2022 found that firearms are the leading cause of death for children in the US.

The three judges voted to send Louis to Hollywood for the next round of auditions.

Updated: March 01, 2023, 5:08 AM