Watch: Transgender contestant Amari Keys on American Idol

amari keys
Image: Amari Keys Instagram

Transgender contestant Amari Keys started with an acoustic cover of Britney Spears’ Toxic on American Idol before revealing she’s transgender.

Scroll down for the vid.

The 28-year-old usually works as a waitress. However, she impressed American Idol judges with her impressive vocal range.

Katy Perry complemented the performance but asked to hear more. She asked what song encapsulated Amari’s journey to finding her true self.

Amari nominated Sara Bareilles’s She Used to Be Mine and revealed she was transgender. She said she lost a lot of people from her life during her transition.

“It’s normal to lose a lot of people. I’m not mad at them. I understand. I don’t expect people to understand everything, I just want to love everybody.

“So many people would’ve been really happy if I just stayed in my little box… and sometimes I miss that person.

Amari told CT Insider she started singing as a homeless child.

“I started singing probably around the age of 11. I was homeless at the time. My mom and I were just struggling. It was just us for a very long time… I was just singing, and somebody stopped me, and they were like, ‘You have a voice. You can make big bucks with that.’ I kind of latched on to that first, and it became a way of coping and emoting, and it became something more than just financial stability.”

How did Amari Keys do?

Judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry ushered her on the way to the next stage of the competition — the Hollywood elimination rounds.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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