Talent Recap

Meet Deshawn Goncalves, ‘American Idol’s Angel in the Top 10

ABC / YouTube, @deshawngmusic / Instagram

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One of our favorite singers from Season 19 of American Idol is Deshawn Goncalves, who recently made it to the Top 10. The 20-year-old has impressed the judges from week to week.


Goncalves had a tough childhood, but he’s following his dreams on the Idol stage. Katy Perry even called him an “angel” in his audition.

5 Facts About Deshawn Goncalves

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1. Goncalves’ Mom Was 13 When She Had Him

Before his audition, Goncalves shared that his mother was only 13 years old when she gave birth to him. His father, who was a few years older, ended up in jail.

“Throughout my life, I’ve struggled a lot, but music has always been my saving grace,” Goncalves told the judges.


When his father got out of prison, he turned things around, and so did Goncalves. The pair talked via video chat before his audition.

SEE ALSO: ALL LOVE BETWEEN ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ COMEBACK SINGERS, SEASON 19 CONTESTANTS

2. He’s Currently in College

Goncalves shared before his audition that he got a full ride to Jackson State University because of his good grades. He’s reportedly studying music technology and performance.


Goncalves also plays the tuba in his school’s marching band. This year, he’s been attending classes remotely from Cleveland due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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3. Goncalves Performed at the Apollo

Goncalves won first place in the Stars of Tomorrow competition at the Apollo Theater —  not once, but twice. According to his website, Goncalves has also sung for Patti LaBelle and played piano for B.B. King’s daughter. Not too shabby for someone so young.

It was these opportunities which inspired him to try out for Idol.

“What prompted me was just thinking about how things just always continue to come my way, like blessings just continue to pour in. So it’s kind of like, when I’m doing these things, like if I’ve come this far, why stop now?” he said.

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4. He Started Out Singing in Church

Goncalves’ grandmother was a choir director, which led him to start singing in church. However, he really got into music when he first played the trumpet in sixth grade.

“I think it was from there that I realized that I have a gift. I can do certain things that people my age can’t do musically,” Deshawn said. “So from there, I sort of picked up more instruments.”

SEE ALSO: SEASON 18 ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ CONTESTANTS RETURN FOR A SECOND CHANCE

5. Deshawn Wants to Inspire People

Deshawn has watched American Idol since he was a kid, so performing on the show was a dream come true. He wants to inspire other people to follow their dreams as well.

“I want to be an example of what can happen if you really stick to what you want to do, and to just really follow your dreams,” he told local news. “The goal is to be able to help people. I think it’s just bigger than music for me. I want to sing to be able to help people, to get a message through — to be able to make life better for a lot of people.”

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