Kellyanne Conway's Daughter Claudia, 16, Auditioned for American Idol, Katy Perry Confirms
"We are proud of Claudia for entering the arena and sharing her beautiful voice and inspirational message about mental health with others," Kellyanne says
From anti-Trump TikTok to TV: Kellyanne Conway's teenage daughter is stepping into the spotlight.
"Hey guys! I'm here at American Idol confessional," Claudia said in one video, panning the camera over to the crew, who cheered. "I met Ryan Seacrest today and I have my audition soon, so stay tuned for that."
In a short video posted Monday, Perry, 36, said "well, well, well, let the games begin because Claudia just tried out for American Idol."
The "Roar" singer then panned the camera over to Claudia, who waved and said "hi!"
While Claudia's social media activity has been a source of tension for her parents — mom Kellyanne, a former senior White House aide, and dad George, an attorney, have asked for privacy for their daughter given her age; and some of Claudia's videos have appeared to show alarming conflicts between her and her mom — her budding musical career is another matter.
Claudia's mom said Monday that she was invited to audition for the show in Ojai, California, and "the last three days have been a whirlwind of interviews, rehearsals and the actual audition. She [Claudia] calls it the 'coolest experience' of her life."
"Claudia and her siblings are taught to be independent self-starters and free thinkers who dream big and aim high. She sets goals and works toward them. Of course, American Idol is next level!" Kellyanne, 53, tells PEOPLE. "We are proud of Claudia for entering the arena and sharing her beautiful voice and inspirational message about mental health with others."
Kellyanne says her daughter's musicality has a long — and colorful — family history: Claudia was born singing, five minutes after her twin brother ... or rather "actually, screaming, but it had a certain sweet tone to it," Kellyanne says. "She has been belting it out ever since."
Later, "Claudia tried to 'fire' her first piano teacher when she was 5 years old, an inexplicable and embarrassing episode that became my late father’s favorite story," Kellyanne says. "She is much more collaborative now, even as she will sit at the piano for hours teaching herself songs and lyrics by sound and allowing mom to introduce her to the 'oldies' from the '70s and '80s."
For his part, Claudia's dad was featured in one of her videos over the weekend, apparently filmed while behind the scenes of American Idol, where he lip-synced to Aly & AJ's "Potential Breakup Song" in a winking reference to a popular TikTok meme.
Kellyanne and Claudia made headlines last month when they tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as part of a larger outbreak of infections among President Donald Trump's family and advisers, which critics said underscored how negligently the White House was treating the pandemic.
"Claudia & I are faring well in quarantine," Kellyanne wrote on Twitter on Oct. 6. "Everyone else is negative I had 3 tests on Friday: 1 negative (saliva) 1 pos (rapid), 1 pos (PCR, most accurate) As soon as dr confirmed positive, I told my family & then went public."
Kellyanne then obliquely addressed her daughter's TikTok, where Claudia had for months been posting anti-Trump videos and other commentary about the Conway family, drawing breathless coverage from some media outlets. Claudia had also posted about the coronavirus infections before her mother's tweet.
"My daughter, Claudia, is beautiful & brilliant. She has access to top doctors & health care & lives comfortably," Kellyanne wrote in another tweet. "Like all of you, she speculates on social media Yet she’s 15 You are adults We have COVID, but it’s clear who’s really sick."
Kellyanne was one of several people in Trump's orbit to test positive within that same week.
Claudia's TikTok — which is verified, with 1.4 million followers — first gained attention over the summer, though she has since posted about the drawbacks of that attention and wanting to be left alone by the media.
Kellyanne and George (a noted "never-Trump" Republican who endorsed Joe Biden for president) both announced they would be stepping back from their respective roles in August.
Kellyanne, who has drawn her own controversies while working with the president, said then that she would be leaving the White House to focus on her family: "For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama."