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American Idol Contestant Sings To Grandfather Who Just Came Out As Gay

American Idol Contestant Sings To Grandfather Who Just Came Out As Gay

Jon Wayne Hatfield, Ray
American Idol/YouTube

It's never too late to be true to yourself!


A sweet American Idolaudition dedicated to the performer’s gay grandfather won over both the judges and at home audiences.

21-year-old Jon Wayne Hatfield told judges that his grandparents had raised him since he was just five, after his mother struggled with addiction.

“My grandma was my mom. My grandpa was always my best friend,” he said. “He would get out in the backyard and climb trees with me all the time. It was the best life you could ask for.”

His grandmother died three years ago, the loss devastated his grandfather, Ray. But it also finally offered Ray the opportunity to share something with the world that he had previously shared with his wife — he’s gay.

“I told her about myself, and she said, ‘I love you,’ and that it’s okay,” Ray recalled. “Jon was the last person I told because I was scared he would stop loving me.”

It was important for Hatfield to make sure his grandfather knew nothing would make him stop loving him, so he wrote him a song.

After the judges invited Ray into the room to join them for his grandson’s audition, Hatfield’s original, “Tell Me Ray,” earned a standing ovation from all three judges.

“What I love about being a part of this show is people come in and bare their shows in front of us, and people at home who may be dealing with the same stuff get to realize that they’re not alone,” Blake Shelton said.

And yes, Hatfield will be moving on to the next round — and Ray will undoubtedly be right there as they continue to support one another.

Is American Idol coming back in 2023?

Yes, the latest season of American Idol began on February 19, 2023.

How many seasons has American Idol been on?

American Idol is currently in its 21st season.

Where can I watch American Idol?

American Idol airs on ABC and can be streamed on Hulu the next day.

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