Does big hair equate to big, powerful vocals? As evidenced by season 15 American Idol contestant La’Porsha Renae, the answer is a resounding yes. On Tuesday evening, the 25-year-old hopeful winner took the stage to deliver an unforgettable rendition of Mary J. Blige’s iconic R&B hit, “No More Drama.”
At first glance, her on-stage showmanship may seen not far from that of the other talented members of her Hollywood pool, but it’s the message behind her delivery that has us reaching for the closest box of Kleenex. Moments before she took the stage, a video package revealed that the Mississippi-born crooner is a survivor of an abusive relationship. Renae hit every note of the song with flair, but she soon began tearing up and fully showcased her touching energy—so much so that she even brought Idol judge Jennifer Lopez to tears.
Once the audience clapped for the beauty, Lopez stood from her seat—of course, rocking a crystallized, multi-colored jumpsuit—and thanked her for the moment. “It takes a lot to overcome, it takes a lot to overcome, it takes a lot of strength to overcome those things in your life, baby. I know, everybody knows, we’ve all been through stuff like that, you know what I mean?” she told Renae. “And honestly you’re an inspiration, it was so beautiful. You put it in your music and you don’t overdo it, you do it right there… the way you’re supposed to, it’s just, it was powerful. Thank you for that moment.”
“It was something that needed to happen,” the contestant told People after her performance. “I got out of a bad relationship in April and came straight into American Idol so I didn’t have time to heal. Having America pick this song for me forced me to face the feelings I had been running from. That’s why I got so emotional.”
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Watch the stirring performance in the clip below.