Kalifa Wilson, also known as "Kai the Singer," performed The Temptations "My Girl" for the first round of auditions and left judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie awestruck.
Bryan told the 19-year-old that when she started playing piano during her performance it stirred "many, many emotions".
"Quite frankly, I don't know how kids like you pony up and make it here," he added.
Wilson replied that it was her church.
"Your church sent you here?" Perry asked.
The popstar then became tearful.
Wilson, from South Carolina, explained that she was once homeless and lived out of her car at times.
Perry said she could relate as she grew up with little money and her family had to rely on food banks.
She recounted the time her church bought her a guitar when she was 13.
"That's where I got that one from," Wilson said referring to her guitar on the stage.
Richie told Wilson that she was on the show for a reason and added: "God can only do for you what he can do through you."
All three judges put Wilson through to the next round of auditions.
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