'Idol' Contestant Brings Judges to Tears After 'Reinventing' Katy Perry's 'Wide Awake': 'You're Why We're Here'

"You sang a Katy Perry song and turned it into you … then you made Katy Perry cry," Lionel Richie told a contestant during Sunday's episode of American Idol

Introducing Lady K!

During Sunday's episode of American Idol, the 25-year-old contestant from Tuskegee, Tennessee touched the hearts of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan with her emotional life story — and inspiring vocals.

Detailing her difficult upbringing, Lady K revealed there was a time when she and her family ended up living in a shelter.

"My mom, myself and my four brothers and sisters were bound to a dorm and we had to make that work," Lady K said. "I'm the oldest so I instantly wanted to step up and help out. My brother Papi was a really tough, cool, laid-back type of person. I knew we all had it hard, but at some point, it was all too much for my brother."

Lady K. ABC/Eric McCandless

Lady K's brother died by suicide.

"That was one of the hardest things my family ever had to go through," she said. "It was hard to decide if paying rent was going to come first because we need somewhere to live or paying for a funeral because we don't have our brother anymore."

"There were times that I didn't think that the rest of the family would pull through," she added. "We're still here and that's why this is so important to me. I don't want that to happen again because it gets so hard that they feel like there is no hope. Papi's death started a fire in me. It gave me more purpose. I'm here to honor him and make my family proud."

Singing Perry's hit song, "Wide Awake," Lady K immediately shocked the judges with her impressive vocals — bringing Perry and Richie to tears.

Lionel Richie; Katy Perry; Luke Bryan
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan. ABC

"It was the best song I could find to symbolize my journey and everything I've been through in my life," Lady K said. "Every song that I've ever attached myself to from you has been for the underdogs for people like me to just know that whatever the hell is going on, you can make it through."

"You sang with such elegance, beauty, grace and filigree," said Perry. "It's like you reinvented the song. It's like your heart is singing through your vocal cords."

Katy Perry
Katy Perry. ABC

"It just flows and it's so honest," added Bryan. "It's just magic."

"I'm so proud," said Richie. "Tuskegee will never be the same. I know you landed there for a purpose. You sang a Katy Perry song and turned it into you. Then you made Katy Perry cry."

"You're why we're here, I'm here," concluded Bryan before giving Lady K the Golden Ticket to Hollywood.

Lionel Richie; Katy Perry; Luke Bryan
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. ABC

Before saying her goodbyes, the young singer gave each of the judges a thank you note as a token of appreciation.

"Luke, your words are so kind, gentle and touching," Luke read. "Thank you for your time, energy and love."

"Lionel, you make people feel like, no matter what, you're proud of them and people need that," said Richie. "Thank you so much. I look forward to this journey with you."

"The universe lined this moment up perfectly," Perry's card read. "Thanks for reminding me I'm a firework."

Lady K. ABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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