Meet ‘American Idol’s First Platinum Ticket Winner HunterGirl

Corey Cesare
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Huntergirl american idolABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol fans witnessed history being made on last night’s season 20 premiere. The first ever Platinum Ticket was awarded to Tennessee native country artist, HunterGirl.


This American Idol season differs from the rest because judges are giving out Platinum Tickets as well as the usual Golden Tickets. While Golden Tickets send singers to Hollywood Week, Platinum Tickets sends singers directly to the second round of Hollywood Week. They automatically skip the first round of cuts and get a day to rest. Last night, American Idol fans saw the judges unanimous decision to award this ticket to the country singer.

HunterGirl took to the stage fully confident and comfortable. It immediately felt like performing was a second nature to this country singer. She showed off powerful vocals and beautiful runs in her performance. The judges were grinning throughout her song. They compared her to Miranda Lambert then awarded her a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.

After her audition, it was revealed that the judges asked if she wanted to perform at Luke Bryan’s Nashville bar. The judges then showed up at the bar during her performance and awarded the Platinum Ticket to the country singer. Hunter had no idea that the judges were going to show up at the bar. She shared that this was a moment she’ll remember for the rest of her life.


Meet American Idol‘s First Platinum Ticket Recipient, HunterGirl

Since Hunter received the first Platinum Ticket, fans have been dying to know who the 23 year old singer really is. HunterGirl whose real name is Hunter Wolkonowski is a Winchester, Tennessee native. She has not released many songs to streaming, but she’s definitely not a stranger to the stage or songwriting.

This country singer began singing at only three years old in her grandfather’s church and began writing her own music at nine. From a young age, Hunter competed in singing competitions and performed at venues across the country. At 15 years old she won the 2014 Texaco Country Showdown and later moved to Nashville, Tennessee after graduating high school. As soon as she moved, she began performing at historic venues like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Rippy’s Honky Tonk, Crazy Town, and more.

During this time, Hunter studied recording industry, business administration and management at Middle Tennessee State University. While at the university she won several songwriting contests like “Nash Next” and the Nashville Songwriter Association International. She’s opened for the Kansas Country Stampede and at other events for country artists like Old Dominion, Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels, and Sara Evans.


Hunter is currently employed as a music therapy songwriter with Freedom Sings USA. As mentioned in the series, outside of creating music for herself, she writes veterans’ stories into songs. The singer shared that creating their stories into songs helps them cope with PTSD. Hunter comes from a tradition of military service, so she has a deep love and respect for veterans.

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