Who is Leah Marlene? Everything about 'American Idol' Season 20 Finalist

Who is Leah Marlene? Everything about 'American Idol' Season 20 Finalist

HunterGirl (Hunter Wolkonowski) of Tennessee, Noah Thompson of Kentucky, and Leah Marlene of Illinois will travel to "Idol" glory, which will include a resting stop on the New Jersey highway.

For the three-hour finale on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC, the top three will face Bruce Springsteen's music.

Today, we are talking about Leah Marlene. 

Leah Marlene's Biography: Parents, Dad

Leah Marlene was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and raised in Illinois.

Her father, Derry Grehan is a songwriter and lead guitarist for the Canadian band Honeymoon Suite. He passed on his love of songwriting and taught her how to play the guitar and piano.

She grew up with her brother, Shea Grehan. Shea Grehan is a professional photographer who enjoys capturing pictures.

He is a skilled photographer who specializes in Illinois photography.

Marlene started singing and writing songs when she was quite young and hasn't stopped since. Since she was ten years old, Leah has been performing live in Illinois, Nashville, and Canada.

For the most of her high school years, Leah moved from Illinois to Nashville for songwriting, recording, and performing. After studying songwriting at Belmont University in Nashville for two years, Leah returned to the Midwest to work on her second record.

Leah Marlene in American Idol

Leah Marlene first caught the judges' attention with a creative audition that included a version of One Direction's "Steal My Girl" and an original, "Wisher to the Well," earning Richie's praise.

Marlene published an independent album called "Many Colors" just two days before her audition. The album is accessible on Spotify, Apple, Tidal, and Apple Music.

The 20-year-old was initially placed in the "Indie-Folk" category with Fritz Hager, and she lived up to the billing, but she soon tapped into her natural pop inclinations with Avril Lavigne's "Sk8ter Boi."

Marlene has continued to enthrall and amaze the judges with spot-on selections such as Larkin Poe's "She's a Self-Made Man," Blondie's "Call Me," Tom Odell's "Heal," and the Turtles' "Happy Together."

Marlene also perfectly executed her performance of Bob's Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love," picked by Perry.

For Disney Week, she unleashed her inner cowgirl with "When She Loved Me" from "Toy Story 2," getting praise from Richie, who stated, "Your career is sitting in front of you, my dear." "Enjoy this ride."

Marlene didn't hold back when it came to her TikTok selection, opting for Børn's "Electric Love," and managed to win votes from Middle America, dedicating "Sanctuary" from the ABC show "Nashville" to her mother.

Last week, Marlene clinched the deal by choosing "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders as her Carrie Underwood song, causing American Idol 4 winner Gen Xers to pay Marlene the greatest compliment:

“When I was on the show, I feel like it took a little bit to find artistry, and I feel you already have artistry.”

Marlene finished strong with a modified and passionate rendition of Journey's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" to finish in the top three.

Dawn Williams
Dawn Williams

I'm spilling tea in here - tea without prejudice, offense, wrong assumptions, and anything that makes it taste bland. Look out for little thoughts in between my writings.