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American Idol Star Discovers Biological Mother’s Musical Legacy



Quick Smiles:

  • McKenna Breinholt, an American Idol contestant, was adopted and discovered her biological mother’s musical talent.
  • Her biological mother was a part of a folk duo, Nowhere Man and A Whisky Girl, and McKenna’s voice is strikingly similar.
  • After a successful audition, McKenna was surprised by her biological family’s presence and sang one of her late mother’s songs, leading to an unforgettable performance.

McKenna Breinholt, a contestant on American Idol, has always been drawn to music. This wasn’t a trait she inherited from her adoptive family, but rather a gift she discovered was deeply rooted in her biological lineage.

Ever since she was a child, McKenna knew she was adopted. However, it was only three years ago when she decided to delve deeper into her biological family’s history that she uncovered the source of her musical prowess.

Her biological mother, it turned out, was one half of a folk duo known as Nowhere Man and A Whisky Girl. Listening to their songs on streaming platforms like Spotify, McKenna found a striking similarity between her voice and her mother’s. Unfortunately, McKenna never had the opportunity to hear her mother, Amy Ross Lopez, sing live as she passed away from lupus in 2013.

Despite the loss, McKenna managed to connect with other members of her biological family. They’ve been getting to know each other through video calls and had plans to meet in person a few weeks after McKenna’s American Idol audition.

After delivering a stellar audition that won the judges over, Katy Perry suggested McKenna invite her family in. Unbeknownst to her, members of her biological family were also present. The moment McKenna saw them, she was overwhelmed with joy, and the room soon followed in her emotional reaction.

The American Idol judges were taken aback by the unfolding events. Once the emotional wave had subsided, they asked McKenna to perform one of her mother’s songs. The result was one of the most memorable and moving performances in Idol history.


“I just was so overwhelmed with happiness,” McKenna says. “There was no sadness, no anxiety, none of that. It just felt like I had already known them.”