Talent Recap

5 Facts About Madison Watkins, The Former ‘AGT’ Star On ‘American Idol’

ABC/John Fleenor

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We can’t wait to see Madison Watkins audition for American Idol Season 19. The singer has a history on talent shows, and she’s even released original music.

Madison’s audition will air on Sunday night. Read on to find out where you may have seen the 25-year-old singer on TV in the past, as well as some amazing things she’s doing for her community.

5 Facts About ‘American Idol’ Star Madison Watkins


Madison Was On ‘AGT’ In 2016

In 2016, when Madison was 21, she auditioned for America’s Got Talent. Her audition wasn’t shown on TV, but she reportedly performed “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” earning three “yes” votes from the judges.


She said performing for Simon Cowell was a “dream,” but it was hard to hear his critique. In the Judge Cuts, Madison performed “Let It Go” by James Bay. Unfortunately, she was eliminated after this round, despite positive comments from the judges.

Simon Cowell Encouraged Her

Madison Watkins told One Country that Simon was the reason she auditioned for AGT, saying, “I decided to audition for the show because I knew I would get to finally sing in front of Simon Cowell. He is one of the most influential people in music and I wanted to see what he thought about my voice.”

Madison says Simon encouraged her after her elimination. “When I was kicked off the show he pulled me aside and kissed me on the head,” she told VoyageLA. “‘This is just a show Madison, don’t give up.’ Those words repeat in my head a lot when I get discouraged.”

She Faced Discouragement Growing Up

Madison grew up in Arkansas. A lot of people around her didn’t support her dream of becoming a singer. “Growing up, I would always tell people that I was going to be a professional singer,” she told One Country. “Most of my teachers, classmates, and even close friends would laugh and ask, ‘What will your real job be?’”


“I didn’t ever feel like I could truly be myself without people telling me I had to be something else,” she continued. “That is why I wanted people to know that they can glow no matter what people were telling them about who they are. They can follow the dreams they have had forever.”


Madison Has Released Original Music

Madison released her first EP, titled Glow, in 2016. She put out another EP, called Rooted, last year. Recently, she released a new single called “Blinded,” along with a retro music video inspired by Flashdance. Check it out above.

In addition to singing, Madison plays the piano. In a preview for American Idol posted on her Instagram account, she can be seen performing at the piano during her audition.

She Gives Back To Her Community

According to One Country, when her EP Glow came out, Madison started a nonprofit called the Glow Movement. As part of the movement, Madison went to schools to talk to students about “knowing your identity, setting goals for yourself, and surrounding yourself with people that will allow you to glow or pursue your passions.”

Earlier this year, Madison also gave back to a woman named Rema whom she met at the grocery store. Rema has struggled with money and was living in a homeless shelter. Madison started a GoFundMe and raised over $2,000 for her.

You can watch Madison Watkins audition for American Idol this Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.

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