Idol contestant from Livingston brings soulful country sound to the show

Laci Booth American Idol

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - American Idol is returning for another season Sunday night and like last year, East Texas is being represented in the spotlight. At least four of this year’s contestants are from East Texas. One of them is Laci Kaye Booth, a singer/songwriter from Livingston.

“I’ve always wanted this," Booth said. "This has been my every birthday candle wish, every penny thrown in a well. I’ve wished and prayed and dreamed for this.”

It’s a dream she’s had since childhood. Booth said she began singing at the age of three and taught herself to play guitar at nine.

“I just had a great desire to be a musician at a young age,” Booth said.

“She was always singing," her mother said. "That’s all she ever wanted to do was sing.”

Booth is one of four East Texans that will be competing on American Idol this season. Born and raised in Livingston, she says there’s a common thread in East Texas singers that bring them into the spotlight.

“We have a lot of drive and Texas country music is a big thing right now and there’s a lot of talented people in Texas,” Booth said.

She almost didn’t audition. Being on the show would require her to take time off of school at Sam Houston State University where she is in her senior year studying occupational therapy.

“The day she tried out in Houston, we actually sat in the car for three hours and she was contemplating whether she really wanted to do it or not," her mother said.

Deciding to stay true to that childhood dream, she won over judges with a soulful rendition of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried". She says she’s inspired by artists like Stevie Nicks and Chris Stapleton, and that she hopes to inspire others with her music as well.

“I want people to be inspired to be themselves and to just spread kindness, spread love,” Booth said.

“I just want her to be happy and to enjoy the ride, and I’m just so proud of her," her mother said. "She’s just a blessing and I can’t wait for everyone to see what a blessing she is.”

Laci also has an album of original songs she released in 2017 called Something New. Her audition for American Idol can be seen on Sunday night at 7 p.m. on ABC.

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