Introduced by veteran host Ryan Seacrest one of the episode’s standout contestants is Lauren Spencer-Smith. The 16-year-old Canadian performer, who says she’s been singing ever since she could speak and is already verified on Instagram with nearly 100K followers, auditioned to be on the show in Oregon back in November.
Lauren makes Idol premiere on March 1 and based on previews, or merely hearing her powerhouse voice, she could very well go on to become the next Kelly Clarkson.
Here’s what you need to know about Laura Spencer-Smith:
1. Lauren Performed On ‘The Steve Harvey Show’ After A Video Of Her Singing In The Car Went Viral
Idolwon’t be Lauren’s first time singing on national TV. In May 2019, she was invited to perform on The Steve Harvey Show after a video of her singing Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way,” from the movie A Star is Born went viral online. In just a few weeks, the video Laura’s parents filmed of her singing in the car garnered over 19 million views.
In an interview with Alberni Valley News, Lauren described the exciting process of getting to perform on national TV. She said, “I did a little interview, and they pitched me to the executive producers. It was my first time doing anything like that. It was a super cool experience. I didn’t realize how many people were working behind the scenes. They were super helpful with everything.”
The whole situation felt surreal to the then 15-year-old. “My parents videotape me all the time,” she said. “I actually didn’t want them to post that one. I let them post it, but I didn’t think it was going to get any views.”
2. Lauren Was Nominated For A 2020 Juno Award
The singer described being “in shock” when she learned of her Juno Award 2020 nomination. Lauren is up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for Unplugged, Vol. 1, her debut album, which she recorded live at the Port Theatre last July.
Speaking to MondayMag.com, Lauren said that after receiving the news, “I just immediately phoned my mom and she wasn’t answering and I was leaving messages like, ‘I’m nominated for a Juno Award’ and I was freaking out and I was telling all of my friends and no one was answering me! Still, I don’t believe it. It’s super surreal.”
3. Lauren Performed On Stage With Keith Urban When She Was 11
The singer got her first tasted of what it’s like to perform in front a huge live audience in 2015, when she sang alongside country music star Keith Urban at Sunfest in Cowichan. Laura entered a local radio competition to win the chance to perform with Urban, and even though they selected a different winner, Urban insisted Lauren got a chance to go up on stage too.
“That was super amazing,” Lauren said. “He’s just such a genuine person. It was absolutely unreal. That was my singing dream.” Together, Laura and Urban sang Adele’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
4.Lauren Used To Attend School & Work At a Restaurant At Night, All While Pursuing Her Music Career
Before her singing career took off, Lauren attended Dover Bay Secondary School by day and worked at a local restaurant until 10 p.m. on weeknights. All in addition to practicing her music and performing.
“At the time when I was having all the things going on like school, my job and music my teachers we like, ‘We were concerned,'” Lauren said. They told me, “‘You seemed very on edge all the time, you seemed really stressed out.’ But now that music is my job, it’s a lot easier.”
In November 2019, Lauren released her first two singles, her studio recorded covers of “Always Remember Us This Way,” and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved.” In October, Lauren released “Someone You Loved,” and on March 1, in tandem with her Idol premiere, she drops the new song, “Crazy.”
“It has been a lot more busy lately,” Lauren said. “I sort of have to pick and choose what I’m going to miss. My goal right now is just finishing school for the summer. Then I want to perform a lot more.”
5. Lauren Was Born In Portsmouth, England
Despite being born overseas, Lauren considers herself a true Canadian since she and her family moved to Port Alberni on Vancouver Island when she was 3 years old, where they lived for 10 years.
Lauren now resides in Nanaimo B.C., with her mother, Kerry Noble Spencer-Smith, who continues to help her make videos.