2018-04-12 / Living

Local singer shines on American Idol audition

By Ben Gagnon Contributor

GOODRICH — Going into her audition for American Idol, Genavieve Linkowski told herself she wasn’t going to cry.

But when the 19-year-old Goodrich native was chosen to advance on ABC network’s singing competition, she couldn’t contain her emotions.

“It was a huge moment of relief and happiness at the same time,” she said. “When I was chosen, my family came running in. Then it was impossible for me not to tear up.”

Linkowski, whose audition aired last month, received a golden ticket to perform on American Idol’s first live competition round. She also heard resounding accolades from celebrity judges Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Ritchie, in fact, said that Linkowski’s voice reminded him of international pop star Celine Dion.

“I was shocked when he compared me to Celine,” she said. “It’s ironic because I love Celine and practice with her songs.”

Linkowski’s American Idol audition wasn’t her first encounter with fame. Back in May 2017, she was filmed singing and playing piano at a Burton thrift store — simply trying to pass the time as her family shopped.

What resulted was a viral video that drew over 300,000 views on Facebook and provided a launching point for Linkowski’s musical development. She now has a YouTube channel and Facebook page that display videos of her home-studio recordings.

Although she loves country music the most, Linkowski said that pop is her favorite genre to perform.

“It brings out the highs in my voice and strengthens my technique,” she said.

For her American Idol audition, Linkowski covered Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up”—a title that seems to fit with her musical journey.

During Linkowski’s teen years, her mother Tamara was diagnosed with heart failure. As the oldest of 10 children, Genavieve took on several roles in helping to raise the family, such as making meals and homeschooling the younger siblings.

“The whole experience taught me to grow up fast,” she said. “When my mom was away (for treatment), I ran the house and took the kids under my wing.”

Because of her responsibilities, Linkowski said she had to make sacrifices as far as her music was concerned, even setting it aside altogether.

With her mom making a full recovery, Linkowski was able to pick up her singing again. Love for family, she said, has helped to transform her into the performer she is today.

“I really want to set an example for everybody to take care of their parents and families,” she said. “I want my story to be an inspiration for others.”

Linkowski was eliminated from the competition this past week, but she can still be found on these social media channels: YouTube: Genavieve Linkowski

Haven Avenue; Facebook Music Page: @GennaLaurenMusic; Instagram: @singer4jesus; Snapchat: genlink16; Twitter: @genlinkowski.

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