Greeneville minister gains instant fame on X-Factor

Greeneville minister gains instant fame on X-Factor

Freddie Combs (source: The X-Factor/Fox Television) Freddie Combs (source: The X-Factor/Fox Television)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WATE) - A Greene County minister is gaining national attention after singing on the reality TV show The X-Factor.

The performance by Freddie Combs, 41, a minister from Greeneville, was broadcast Thursday night on the Fox program. It was the last night of auditions from Greensboro, N.C.

In an interview for the program Combs said he nearly died in 2009 when he weighed more than 900 pounds. He has since lost 400 pounds.

Combs' emotional performance of "Wind Beneath my Wings" wowed the program's judges.

"It's really touching, too," judge Demi Lovato said during the broadcast. "I feel a lot of emotion behind what you're singing, and that really inspires me as a musician."

"I found your voice amazing. It was really really good," judge Britney Spears said.

Combs' audition video has gone viral, earning more than 1 million views on YouTube.

His performance has been compared to Susan Boyle, who shot to fame when she appeared on the British reality program "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009.

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