Algonquin native, Althea Grace, could be next 'American Idol'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Althea Grace started making music in Algonquin when she could barely walk.

Now, she's a contestant on "American Idol!"

Grace was named after a Grateful Dead song by her music loving parents. Her daughter's name is "Lennon"-- after John.

She's got a tattoo of a John Lee Hooker lyric.

Just 21, but Althea has always been on the "Idol" track.

"I spent most of my teenage years going into the city and playing with blues guitar players and playing jazz," Grace said. "The Beatles have always been my favorite and Fleetwood Mac and so it all came together."

Grace's 2-year-old daughter inspired the song mom performed at her audition.

"My daughter got sick last year and had a liver transplant and the doctors did not know if she'd make it through this, and so the song that I wrote is about cherishing every moment with the people you love," Grace said.

Grace has come full circle being on "Idol"- and it's all about a standing date with Grandma!

"Just thinking about sitting on my Grandma's couch when I'm 7 years old watching the show, she was like, you could do that I could see you doing that," Grace said.

"It's just the most comforting thing to have in my being to always be able to express myself through what I'm singing," Grace said. "The most important thing to me is that my daughter sees that there's nothing in life that can stop you from pursuing your dream.

Everyone has always believed in me and pushed me and told me I can do it even when I didn't think I could I'm just so grateful for everybody especially to my grandmother, you called it, manifested this!"
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