Who is Leah Marlene? This 20-year-old American Idol superfan has been a fan favorite from the start. From her audition to her background, here’s what you need to know about Leah.
1. Leah performed an original song for her ‘Idol’ audition.
Leah began her audition with a unique cover of One Direction’s hit song “Steal My Girl.” Katy Perry wanted to hear more and asked Leah if she had any original songs. “That’s my main gig. I love writing songs,” Leah said. She then sang a gorgeous original song titled “Wisher To The Well” that highlighted her vocals.
“She reminds me of Catie Turner,” Katy said, referring to the fan-favorite season 16 contestant. Lionel Richie told Leah that she carries her “strangeness so well” and loves how she’s so confident with who she is. “I think you’re tremendous,” Luke Bryan raved. Since then, Leah has continued to wow the judges with her performances of songs like “Make You Feel My Love,” “When She Loved Me,” “Wisher to the Well,” and more.
2. Leah is from Illinois.
Leah hails from Normal, Illinois. Yes, that is actually the name of the town. She was actually born in Toronto and moved to Illinois with her family as a child, according to her website.
3. Leah just released a new album.
Just two days before her American Idol audition aired, Leah released her album Many Colors. The album features 8 songs, including the single “Noise.” The song she sings for her Idol audition is also included on the album. Many Colors is available on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and more. Leah previously released two other albums: The Space Between and Arrow. During her run on Idol, Leah also dropped the single “Flowers.”
4. Leah dropped out of college.
During her American Idol audition, Leah revealed to the judges that she has “just” dropped out of college. She attended Belmont University for 2 years before dropping out. She was studying songwriting and returned to Ilinois to work on an album.
5. Her dad is in a band.
Leah comes from a very musical family. Her dad is Derry Grehan, a songwriter and lead guitarist for the band Honeymoon Suite. Leah’s dad taught her how to play the guitar and the piano.