Chayce Beckham was named the 2021 winner of American Idol on Sunday night (May 23.) The victory was announced at the end of a super-sized, three hour finale episode that saw the Top 3 contestants -- Beckham, Willie Spence and Grace Kinstler -- whittled down to one final Season 19 champ.

After his victory was announced, Beckham took the stage to perform his original single, "23." He released the song during his time on the show, and it quickly climbed to the top of the iTunes country charts. Meanwhile, his family tearfully celebrated from the sidelines.

Beckham began turning judges' heads over the course of his time on the show, thanks to his distinctive raspy voice, country-rock stylings and powerful personal backstory. The 24-year-old California native shared early on that he came to American Idol after a difficult year which ultimately led to a precipitous relationship with alcohol and a near-fatal car crash.

The singer's harrowing personal journey translated to compelling performances every time time he got onstage, and he brought authenticity to world-weary ballads by the likes of Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band and Chris Stapleton. Beckham also proved that his voice could easily find a home in multiple genres, as he duetted with Incubus rocker Brandon Boyd as well as performed a song by Bob Marley & the Wailers during his time on the show.

Earlier in the finale episode, Beckham also performed alongside guest star Luke Combs; they offered a duet version of the latter singer's hit single, "Forever After All." That performance -- especially as a love song -- showed Beckham's softer side to both judges and fans, and also proved his potential as a mainstream country radio hitmaker.

Beckham beat out powerful pop vocalist Grace Kinstler and soulful Willie Spence for the title of American Idol champ. Kinstler placed third on the show, while Spence was the runner-up contestant. Live fan voting took place over the course of the finale episode, and each Top 3 contestant performed multiple times on Sunday night.


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