Chayce Beckham has won 'American Idol'.
The 24-year-old singer from Apple Valley, California, was crowned the winner of this year's series on Sunday night (23.05.21) during the three-hour grand finale, which also featured guest performances from the likes of Chaka Khan, Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Sheryl Crow.
Chayce sealed victory by overcoming stiff competition from Willie Spence, the 21-year-old runner-up from Douglas, Georgia, and Grace Kinstler, a 21-year-old college student from Lakewood, Illinois, who finished in third place.
Chayce - who was widely seen as the pre-show favourite - and the other contestants were all tasked with singing four songs for the finale: one picked for them by the judges; a song from the live rounds; a hometown dedication; and a duet with a celebrity musician.
During the show, Chayce sang The Beatles' 'Blackbird' - which was picked for him by the judges - and Chris Stapleton's 'Fire Away' as a hometown dedication, which earned him praise from the panel.
Lionel Richie told him: "When we first met you, you kept saying, 'I'm not sure, I'm not sure'. Let me tell you something: we are sure."
Katy Perry was similarly enthusiastic about his performance.
She said: "Sometimes God has to turn up the volume on your life to see if you are listening. And you are listening. So Chayce, keep listening. Stay open. Stay the guy from Apple Valley because your world is about to change."
Katy, 36, also praised Chayce's performance of 'Afterglow' by Ed Sheeran.
She explained: "I don't think there's anything left to say … you're out here playing like a rock star, wearing a satin suit. You had this dream and now you're living it. Congratulations."
And for his duet, Chayce teamed up with country star Luke Combs to sing 'Forever After All' to confirm himself as this year's 'American Idol' winner.
Chayce, a former forklift driver, is now set to release his debut album via his new BMG record label.