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Exclusive: Lady A's Hillary Scott reveals incredible connection to American Idol

The country music singer could have had a very different career…

lady a hillary scott© Photo: Getty Images
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
May 22, 2022
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Hillary Scott has found record-breaking success as the co-lead singer of Lady A, with the group selling over 18 million albums, winning multiple awards including Grammys, and achieving 11 number one singles to date.

MORE: Inside country music singers' jaw-dropping homes: Carrie Underwood, Jimmie Allen, Miranda Lambert + more

With her incredible career and powerhouse vocals, it seems unbelievable that she failed not one, but two auditions for American Idol 18 years ago, with Hillary revealing in an exclusive chat with HELLO! US that she didn't even make it to the judges' room.

WATCH: See The Bold Type star Katie Stevens' American Idol audition

Recalling the audition process, Hillary explained: "I auditioned for American Idol, twice! I didn't even get past the first panel of judges - I don't know if they were interns or production assistants, I have no idea who they were.

"I flew from Nashville to Washington D.C to audition, and then I flew out to San Francisco to audition again. There was this cattle call where you just go and line up beside other people and they point to you and tell you to sing. I was so nervous; I definitely was still very green and inexperienced, and I crumbled. I sang and it wasn't my best."

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Despite the rejection from the show, Hillary looks back on the time with fond memories and has even been back to perform with her bandmates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood.

lady a© Photo: Getty Images

Hillary has returned to American Idol to perform with Lady A

"I'm so grateful for that part of my journey. It was such a wild experience that I'm so glad I did," she told us.

"It's really cool the chances we've had to go back and play that stage, to be able to look at the contestants, they know that only one person is going to walk away with the title, and I can look at them and go, 'It's not the only way.'"

Hillary admits that she hasn't given much thought to how different her life would be today if she had made it onto the show, revealing it was only a couple of years later that she met her future bandmates.

lady a hillary scott© Photo: Getty Images

Hillary met her bandmates just two years after her failed auditions

"I was 18 or 19 when I tried out [for American Idol]. I met Charles and Dave right after I turned 20 and we started writing, so it all happened so fast in those couple of years," she shared.

Hillary added: "It is interesting to think back on what my life would have looked like now because it definitely would have been a different path for sure."

Lady A's latest album, What A Song Can Do, is out now. Tickets for their upcoming Request Line Tour, which kicks off in Nashville in August, are on sale now. For more information visit

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