Before she got her ticket to Hollywood, Brianna Collichio endured a long journey, with hospital visits starting from the age of 7 due to cystic fibrosis.
The 15-year-old singer’s older sister Sentina Collichio posted a TikTok on June 27 of Brianna performing Alessia Cara‘s “Scars to Your Beautiful” at a small venue, with hopes that she’d go viral and eventually audition for American Idol so “the world hears her story and beautiful voice.”
Brianna was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, a condition that makes her prone to chronic lung infections. With her sister’s video amassing 2.1 million views, the teen from upstate New York scheduled an Idol audition in August. But unfortunately, she collapsed the evening before and had to go undergo surgery. Sentina shared another viral TikTok clip, this time with 3.3 million views, that was filmed in the hospital with the same “Scars to Your Beautiful” audio, and requested she get another shot at auditioning.
Collichio found herself in front of judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie in an audition clip that premiered Sunday, explaining that with CF, a person can experience scarring on their lungs. “But my lungs are not scarred and my voice is not raspy. So I want to inspire people,” she told them before delving into her stirring performance of “Scars to Your Beautiful.”
Richie thanked her for her “bravery” in sharing her story and later thanked her sister on Twitter for sharing that first TikTok video that made it all happen, while Bryan assured her she “knocked it out of the park.” Perry’s description of her as a “walking miracle” particularly struck a chord with Collichio, because that’s the nickname her mother gave her.
“Mom, you know what I called your daughter?” the pop star asked the tearful mother who entered the audition room at the end. “A walking miracle. And Mama, she’s walking her miracle straight to Hollywood.”
— Luke Bryan (@lukebryan) March 15, 2021
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) March 15, 2021
— Lionel Richie (@LionelRichie) March 15, 2021
Watch Collichio’s inspirational story and Idol audition below.