East Tennessee teen Drake McCain moving to next level of ‘American Idol’

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Drake McCain

AMERICAN IDOL – Coverage. (ABC/David Williamson) DRAKE MCCAIN

Drake McCain sang with Katy Perry during his ‘American Idol’ debut Sunday night.

The East Tennessee teen was in his hometown of Spring City for a watch party, alongside family and friends.

“Singing has definitely gotten me through a lot of hard times and a lot of good times as well,” Drake said.

Related: American Idol: 6 things to know about Drake McCain

Sunday was most definitely one of the good times.

Friends, family and Rhea County community members rallied behind their local American Idol hopeful.
“He’s just Rhea County’s own and we’re proud of him. We’re very confident that he will go far,” said Heather Jewell, Assistant Principal of Rhea County High School.

“Just super excited for not only just our county and town to be here to support him but for the world to actually get to see him tonight I think is the biggest, exciting part of it all,” said his mom, Courtney Swafford. Drake took the stage in front of three superstar judges, vying for his shot at pop stardom on American Idol.

For his small town, you can imagine, that’s big news.

“You can see all over Facebook, everyone’s posting about it. Everyone’s talking about it. Snapchat. Instagram. You can’t go anywhere without someone talking about Drake Taylor being on American Idol,” one of his classmates said. (His name is Drake Taylor, but he performs under the stage name Drake McCain.)

But before Drake’s moment in the national spotlight, the 18-year-old gave the Rhea County High School auditorium a treat – putting his pipes on full display alongside his friend, Abigail Corvin.

“We’re just proud of him. We’re so tickled for him and we know he will do well wherever his journey takes him,” Jewell said.

Chasing his dream, Drake’s hoping it serves as a message that nothing is impossible.

“I want them to know that if Drake can make it, I can make it,” Drake said. “If they want to go out and be a doctor, or be like just whatever they want to be, I want them to go chase their dreams just like I did.”

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