Country performer and Apple Valley, California native Chayce Beckham was crowned the winner during American Idol’s season finale on Sunday evening (May 23), where he performed a cover rendition of Chris Stapleton’s “Fire Away,” as well as his own debut single, “23.”
Though the evening proved to be Beckham’s winning moment, the Idol finale also featured several stunning performances from some of country music’s biggest stars, including Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton and Idol judge Luke Bryan.
Guyton teamed with Idol contestant Alyssa Wray teamed for a powerful rendition of Guyton’s “Black Like Me,” which was included on Guyton’s 2020 EP Bridges and addresses racial discrimination Guyton has faced in her own life. Throughout the season, Wray has primarily performed R&B and pop tunes, though she did offer a stunning rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water” during the competition.
Combs collaborated with Beckham on Combs’ hit “Forever After All.” The song was inspired by Combs’ longtime love Nicole Hocking and the recent video for the track includes footage from the couple’s 2020 wedding in Florida. Throughout the competition, Beckham incorporated covers of country songs including Stapleton’s “You Should Probably Leave” and Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather.”
Meanwhile, Luke Bryan chose a rock ’n’ roll cover song for his collaboration with contestant Casey Bishop, as the two offered a blazing turn on the 1986 Bon Jovi classic “Livin’ On A Prayer.”
This year’s American Idol finale also included performances by Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow, Leona Lewis, Macklemore, and Bryan’s fellow Idol judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, among others.
See Beckham’s winning moment below: