Rising country music star Chayce Beckham isn’t joking when he tells people “American Idol” saved his life. The winner of Season 19 has been vocal about his struggles with drugs and alcohol — including a scary wreck resulting in a DUI — before his parents convinced him to audition for the show. When the construction worker from Apple Valley, Calif., earned his golden ticket to Hollywood, it was truly the start of a new life for him.
Beckham released his debut song in 2021 about struggling with alcohol abuse, called “23,” and it quickly topped the iTunes Country and All Genre charts, gaining over 85 million on-demand streams, per Music Row. He has since moved to Nashville, has a record deal and management agency, and recently released his first album, “Doin’ It Right.” Now, in a moving letter to fans about his past and the experiences that shaped who he is today, the singer-songwriter urged those dreaming of a better life not to give up.
Beckham Writes Inspiring Letter ‘To All The Dreamers’
On July 29, Beckham uploaded a candid letter to Facebook accompanied by a photo of him several years ago, shirtless and playing a friend’s guitar during a gig in his own backyard.
Here’s Beckham’s letter, in full:
“To all the dreamers.
My first show, which was in my backyard at the time, with my first band, probably around 2016. Playing my buddy Nate’s les Paul because I couldn’t afford to fix mine or buy a new one. Our mics would shock us if we touched them while playing guitar, and I’m sure you could hardly hear anything I sang. We would invite local bands to come jam with us and all of our friends would come and party while we played. We only did this a few times but it sure was fun, and the start to something much bigger for me. In a backyard, up in the hills, thats where I got my voice, because I couldn’t hear myself, I screamed so loud that I ended up with permanent rasp. The drugs and alcohol didn’t help either, but I’m grateful for all my bad decisions and hard life lessons I was served back then. They made me. These were some of the most fun care free times of my life, my golden days if you will. I started with nothing, just a few of my best friends, a borrowed guitar, and a s***** van, which was absolutely everything to me at the time.
We all have to start somewhere, and most of the time it’s at the bottom. You’re gunna f*** up, make mistakes, and trip and fall all the way back down. Giving up is easy, staying true to something is one of the hardest things in life. Believing in your dream is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself in life. Manifestations happen because of consistency, and when I was at the point of giving up, my parents wouldn’t let me, and signed me up for a tv show called American Idol.
After months of grueling competition and self doubt, I went on to win the 19th season of American Idol, just like my parents told me I would. I signed a record deal with a major label, moved to Nashville, toured the country multiple times from California to New York, and no, my microphones don’t shock me anymore, the guitars I play are mine and I can actually hear my voice now when I sing. Moral of the story is stick with it. It gets better. Believe in you. Don’t give up when you want to, and make sure you have people in your life who won’t let you. God is good. Life is hard. Happiness somewhere in between.”
Fans flooded the post with love and gratitude for his inspiration and honesty. One woman wrote, “You are the most awesome and most talented young man I have seen in a long time. Being a recovering addict myself, your story touch my heart and you are living proof that good things can come from bad situations.”
Beckham Says He ‘Lost Everything’ Before Winning ‘Idol’
Beckham has been very open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, and how he’d hit rock bottom before winning big on “Idol.” Shortly after the May 2021 finale, he confessed to USA Today that his life before the show “wasn’t pretty.”
“Getting to a point to where you lose everything – from your girlfriend, your house that you live in together, your dogs, you lose your car, you lose your license, you almost kill yourself in a DUI wreck – you’re at the end of your rope there,” he said.
“I just kind of fell like this deep hole of like bad energy,” the singer admitted during a May 2022 interview with CMT. “I burned a lot of bridges, made a lot of really bad mistakes, scared off a lot of my friends, and had to move back home with my parents. My girlfriend of seven years left me, and I had to separate all of our stuff out of our house and move back home to my mom and dad’s house, which was humiliating.”
But even that situation wasn’t enough to shift Beckham’s outlook; in fact, he said it made him more depressed, which drove him to drink more.
“I got my DUI where I wrecked my car and almost killed myself,” he told CMT. “Anything that I loved or cherished, I had either thrown it away or burned that bridge. So, the only people I had left were my parents.”
His mom had to pick Beckham up from jail, and while he was confined to his room for several days after the arrest, his parents started encouraging him to try out for “American Idol.” In fact, he said they forced him into it.
“That’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life,” he said, “listening to them and getting out of my room and going to sing in front of Katy and Luke because that changed my life forever. I would’ve never believed in myself enough to do it.”