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The 38-year-old pop star serves as a judge on the ABC singing competition alongside fellow musicians Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan and after 21-year-old mattress salesman Trey Louis – who survived the Santa Fe High School shooting in 2018 which otherwise took the lives of 10 students – performed ‘Stone’ by Whiskey Myers in memory of the victims.
Speaking in an episode aired on Sunday (26.02.23), Trey explained: “As I said before, I’m from Santa Fe, Texas. In May 2018 a gunman walked into my school. I was in Art Room 1, he shot up Art Room 2 before he made his way to Art Room 1. I lost a lot of friends. Eight students were killed, two teachers were killed and it’s really been negative here since 2018.”
The ‘Firework’ hitmaker was visibly shocked by Trey’s story and threw her head into her hands as she burst into tears before calling for “change” in the country.
Katy said: “Our country has f****** failed us! This is not okay. You should be singing here because you love music.
“Not because you had to go through that f****** s***. You didn’t have to lose eight friends. I hope that you remind people that we have to change. Because you know what, I’m scared, too.”
At the time, the shooting was the deadliest school shooting in Texas before the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde claimed the lives of 22 students and ‘All Night Long’ singer Lionel Richie comforted Katy as he too called for change before all three judges hugged the budding country music star and sent him through to the next round.
He said: “We have tolerated this for so long, for too long. It has become the norm. You have a yes from me, and I can’t wait to see you in Hollywood. We’ve never been this close as we’ve said this to anybody. Are you ready for this? You’re going to Hollywood!”