Any time someone steps in front of the judges to perform on American Idol, the goal is always to impress them. But while Anilee List was hoping for the best, she had no idea that her audition performance was going to result in a standing ovation. The talented singer left the judges amazed with her performance of “Blue” by Aaron Taylor. In addition to being wowed with her singing, the judges were also touched by Anilee’s backstory of living with Tourette Syndrome. Now that she has secured her Golden Ticket to Hollywood, the judges — and the rest of the world — are excited to see what else she can do. Here are 1o things you didn’t know about Anilee List.
1. She Has Always Loved To Perform
Anilee was only about 4-years-old when she fell in love with performing. During an interview with Voyage L.A. she said, “Community musical theatre has had a huge influence on me. I went to Westside Neighborhood School in Playa Vista for elementary and middle school–there I began singing more contemporary styles, while also continuing my musical theatre training.”
2. She Is A Student at Berklee
Music is more than just a hobby for Anilee, it’s something she has dedicated lots of her time, energy, and education to. She is currently a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston where she is majoring in vocal performance. In addition to being a student, she also teaches vocal lessons.
3. She Is Passionate About Social Justice
Anilee is a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter Movement and an overall ally in the fight to end racism. She has consistently stood behind this on social media and real life. She has also used her platform as a way to share resources with others.
4. She Has A Boyfriend
Anilee has been fortunate to not only find something she loves, but to find someone she loves as well. She is in a relationship with a man named Matt Carson who is also a student at Berklee. In fact, Matt is the person who played the guitar for Anilee during her audition performance on American Idol.
5. She Has Released Her Own Music
Singing cover songs isn’t the only time when Anilee’s vocal skills shine through. She also likes to write songs and she’s already released some singles of her own. There’s no information on when she plays to release a larger project, but she likely has something in the works.
6. She Is A Neo-Soul Fan
As a singer, Anilee has been inspired by many artists who came before her and she has been especially drawn to neo-soul music. While talking to Voyage L.A. she cited Erykah Badu and Jill Scott as some of her biggest early influences. She is also a fan of the group Moonchild.
7. She Performed At Carnegie Hall
Anilee is still relatively early on in her career, but she’s already accomplished quite a lot. By the time she graduated from high school, she had already performed at Carnegie Hall – not once, but twice. With so many cool things already on her resume, there’s no doubt Anilee has a lot of great things coming in her future.
8. She Is Very Involved With The Tourette Association of America
When Anilee was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at 10-years-old, her life was changed forever. Although the ticks that are associated with the disorder initially took a hit at her confidence, she eventually began embracing herself. She has become active with the Tourette Association of America and she been performing at their fundraisers since she was 10-years-old. Anilee hopes that her journey can help inspire others to feel confident in who they are and overcome things they may be dealing with.
9. She Got A Shoutout From Aaron Taylor
Being admired by fans is probably a great feeling, but nothing can compare to getting respect and admiration from one of your peers. After performing “Blue” on American Idol, the song’s original performer, Aaron Taylor, shouted Anilee out on Twitter and thanked her for singing his song. Many other Twitter users chimed in to comment on how much they love the original song as well as Anilee’s cover.
10. She Plays Instruments
So far, the world has gotten a taste of Anilee’s awesome voice, but singing isn’t the only thing she can do. She is also a talented guitarist and piano player. There’s no word on whether or not we’ll get to see her play any instruments during the competition, but hopefully she’ll be able to incorporate them into future performances.