Crystal Lake singer/songwriter hopes to hit right notes on 'American Idol'

ByJudy Hsu and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Crystal Lake singer to audition on 'American Idol'
Grace Kinstler from Crystal Lake is going to be a contestant on "American Idol." She's hitting all the right notes for a future in the spotlight!

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- The new season of "American Idol" kicks off this Sunday on ABC. One of the local contestants we're pulling for is Grace Kinstler from Crystal Lake. She's hitting all the right notes for a future in the spotlight!

Kinstler is just 20, but she's already released two albums and is writing her own songs.

"I was about 4 or 5 when I started with music, and it was something that right off the bat I knew, this was something I wanted to do the rest of my life," Kinstler said.

SEE ALSO | Meet the Chicago teacher competing on 'American Idol'

Grace has been in various shows and done musical theater. She's even scored at the United Center!

"My family loves sports and they love the Bulls, so they were, you're gonna perform at the Bulls game? And my dad was, yea, that's my baby, so it was cool, it was amazing," she said.

Contestants auditioned "virtually" - and Grace was among those who got to perform for Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

"I'd seen Katy Perry in concert when I was like 8 years old and the face that I would be singing for her was really crazy to me," she said. "They were just very personable people, they had an energy about them that was very warm and approachable which is something I wasn't expecting because they are celebrities, but it was very refreshing to go in there and feel that way. It definitely was something that motivated me and did get my juices flowing, it was inspiring to be surrounded by people who come from all different walks of life who are just as passionate and just as talented. Everyone wants to be famous, sure I would love that, but if you're doing it for the fame you're not in it for the right reasons

I want to be able to do it for the love of music, not for the rewards that would come out of it."

You can see the season debut of American Idol Sunday night at 7 p.m. on ABC 7.