In a world where true talent seems close to obsolete, finding a needle in the haystack can be an overwhelming task. That is, for every other place besides Statesboro.
Here we are lucky, because we didn’t have to search very far to find Gazzie White, a native singer whose voice is even bigger than the smile she wears. From church choir to Friday night football games, White captivates her audiences with a soulful conviction any time she performs.
With the support of Statesboro behind her and a loving husband by her side, White is taking her talent to Hollywood on American Idol this year.
“Not for my own gain,” she said. “I’m doing this to glorify God and to represent Statesboro.”
After suffering from two miscarriages in early 2018, White is using the therapeutic power of music to share her testimony with a nationwide audience. And even though her journey onstage has just begun, it is amazing how many lives she has been able to connect with along the way.
By opening up about the loss of her own children, White was shocked to learn that many women have experienced similar fates, yet no one seems to be talking about it.
“Miscarriage isn’t something that you hear shouted from the rooftops,” she said. “Pain is painful. There is something deep about it and if you really aren’t grounded in Christ and in love – if you don’t have that support system – it will knock you down.”
At a point in time where hope was unseen, “All I could do was worship,” she explained. “Worship is what kept me. It was definitely the glue that held the pieces of my life together.”
Just when life seemed to be handing out more lemons than she could hold, White found the sugar she needed for lemonade. A few months after her second miscarriage, White heard about open call auditions that American Idol would be hosting. Although the option caught her attention, White was still on the fence.
“I’m about to be 25. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to do this,” White said.
Realizing she had nothing to lose, she decided to have fun and take a leap of faith with a video submission. After 3 months of waiting, White received an e-mail from American Idol with a request for her to audition in front of the show’s producers. Charmed by her style, the producers sent White to Idaho.
There, White serenaded judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan with a “jazzie” rendition of Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High.” By the end of the audition, it was her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that convinced judges of the diversity in her style.
After setting the bar in Idaho, White is now on her way to Hollywood with a golden ticket, and she plans to use this opportunity to speak light into darkness.
Her story reveals that music is ever-present, for those who listen.
“Losing those children took something out of me that I cannot explain. But, in a year’s time I went from being depressed and not wanting to see another day to saying ‘Hey, God is good. God can do all things but fail.’ I just find it amazing that I had the opportunity, and it is huge. This is so huge to me because it’s not just any show. It’s American Idol. And I bless God. I give Him all of the praise and I thank Him for worship,” she said.
No doubt, the stage on American Idol is a seamless platform for White to share the testimony God provided. But no matter what her outcome is on the show, one thing is certain: she will always have Statesboro’s vote.