East Tennessee teen gets chance at fame on ‘American Idol’

Local News

Meet the buzz of Rhea County, about 70 miles south of Knoxville.

Drake McCain Taylor, who goes by the stage name of “Drake McCain,” gets a national audition on ABC’s “American Idol” at 8 p.m., Sunday on WATE.

But folks in Spring City — where McCain is a high school senior, sings in the school chorus and played on the basketball team — will gather at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Rhea County High School for a watch party and concert with McCain.

Judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry will hear him sing “Knocks Me Off My Feet” by Stevie Wonder and gospel hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

Only 17, he started singing the national anthem at Rhea County events at age 7.

The oldest boy in a family of 11 children, his sisters say he’s somewhat of a father figure.

“He has to grow up very quickly but he has always been very helpful,” his mother Courtney Swafford told a Rhea County newspaper. “Our family has been through a lot and Drake has been my rock for sure and for a lot of the girls too.  We are excited for the rest of the world to see him.  They will get to see who we see and who we know.”

He gets his chance Sunday night.

(Follow Drake McCain on Instagram.)

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