When Catie Turner first auditioned for the judges on Season 16 of “American Idol,” her dad, Kevin Turner, was standing right outside the door with his fingers crossed and celebrated with family when she emerged with a golden ticket. During the Showstopper round, the proud papa could be seen dancing in the audience as she performed.
Turner Lovingly Says Her Dad Was ‘Creative’ & ‘Strange’
On the evening of July 29, 2022, Catie’s mom, Catherine — who was also frequently featured on TV during her daughter’s “Idol” journey — wrote on Facebook, “We are all so sad. My husband, Kevin Turner just passed away. Please say a prayer.”
According to her Facebook page, Kevin began treatments for cancer in January 2022 and by April, doctors reported his tumors were shrinking. But on July 20, the same day that Catie’s new music video for “Step Mom” debuted on MTV in Times Square, Catherine wrote a somber update. “A lot of sadness,” she wrote. “Kevin was placed on hospice yesterday. Please keep him and my family in your prayers.”
Soon after her dad’s death was announced on July 29, Catie took to Instagram to reveal the news to fans by sharing some of her favorite photos and memories with him.
“My first memory of my dad was him telling me a bedtime story,” she wrote, “but instead of princesses and dragons, his consisted of more… macabre plot lines: the dolls from the small world ride coming to life and going on a killing spree. i loved it. as the years went on, he added more details, like donald drunk starting bar fights and goofy being the evil puppet master.”
Known for her own flair for the dramatic, Turner may have inherited her creativity from her father while growing up in Langhorne, Pa. The photos she shared in her post ranged from vintage shots of him looking contemplative to a more recent photo of him dressed up like Elvis.
She continued the caption about him by writing, “he was creative, he was strange, and he was well-known for his crass humor and his vocal rendition of ‘Love Shack.’ he was my dad, and he loved me – and i will forever be grateful. i love you”
Turner also added a sweet photo to her Instagram Stories, featuring her dad and her with an owl. She added the words “i love you dad. forever and ever.”
Many music industry colleagues offered condolences on Catie’s post, alongside her fans. For instance, fellow “Idol” alum Alyssa Raghu, who appeared on Season 16 and 17, wrote, “i love you so much. sending all my love.”
Philadelphia news anchor Alicia Vitarelli also commented on Turner’s post. “I am so heartbroken for your family,” she wrote. “I will never forget the many times I met him as he accompanied you, cheering you on as you chased your dream. I am so incredibly sorry for your enormous loss. He was a special man.”
Turner Has Also Lost Two Childhood Pets This Year
Sadly, the death of Turner’s dad comes on the heels of losing two of her family’s beloved pets, too. On June 21, Turner posted a photograph of her dog, Rosie, with her when she was a kid. In the caption, she wrote, “lost a friend while touring the country, and it’s been a hard balancing act between home sickness and guilt with the immense gratitude i feel being able to do this every night. i will love u forever rosie posie. it was an honor growing up with you.”
Several months prior, on February 7, Turner posted about the passing of a different dog — one she called her best friend. She wrote, “last night i said goodbye to my best friend. derp not only taught me how to love deeply and selflessly, but also how to get pee stains out of virtually anything. derp, u will always be mine forever and always.” That pup lived a year longer than expected; in Feb. 2021, Turner had written that she was spending her last full day with him — only to later post that he’d “decided to live.”
Turner is likely finding comfort with her tight-knit family, including her two brothers, in Pennsylvania. On July 1, she told Monsters and Critics that she always looks forward to returning home while on tour.
“I love it more because I just know that my bed is waiting for me around the corner. Hotel rooms have nothing on being in your own house and your own home and seeing your family. It just feels different, it just feels so welcoming. Then I spend the rest of the tour just counting down the days until I get to go home and see my family and sleep.”