“American Idol” has only been back on our screens for a few weeks but already we’ve heard countless tales of hardship and resilience from the auditionees. From the get-go, however, Marcio Donaldson’s audition had a different feel to it. His heart and emotions were palpable. It didn’t take long for us to learn why.

Marcio had a tough start in life. Born in Compton, California, he grew up in a world of gang crime, guns, and drugs. Sadly, despite her best efforts, his Mom also fell into drug addiction and Marcio and his sister were forced to go into foster care. There was always one escape for him though, his music. While he was never able to afford proper lessons, he never stopped his passion and soon found music was a brilliant outlet for all the hurt he felt as a teenager. 

“I found refuge in my music,” he says.

Unfortunately, his sister was unable to find the same outlet he did, and soon the cycle repeated itself. She also became addicted to drugs like their Mom had before them. Just 6 months before his audition, Marcio learned his sister had had a baby.

However, due to her ongoing problems with drugs, she was deemed unfit and the police were knocking on Marcio’s door asking if he would take her son.

“The police came to my door and said ‘You have to decide if you will keep this child or if he’ll go into the system’”, Marcio explained.

What initially seemed like a burden, soon turned into a blessing. Marcio knew he couldn’t let his nephew follow the same path he and his sister had, so he took the baby on as his own. He admits it was a steep learning curve, but ultimately it has given him meaning in life. Now, Marcio is determined to do all he can for the little one. That includes wowing the judges with his heartfelt singing!

Arriving with only his nephew in tow, Marcio handed his little treasure over to Luke Bryan so that he could sing his heart out. What follows is one of the most vulnerable and tender performances we have seen on “American Idol” in some time.

Watch below to hear Marcio’s full story and his wonderful performance

Did you enjoy that? Let us know in the comments below and tell your friends and family about it too! His story is one that deserves to be told.

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