Maddie was already a talented singer by the time she was in high school, but her primary focus was on sports. She was an accomplished high school athlete. But, that ended when she gained 100 pounds over the course of a year. She was eventually diagnosed with the polycystic ovarian syndrome, which caused a hormonal imbalance and resulted in weight gain. The change in her body ended her sports career and led her to quit singing and to perform because she lost her confidence.

One day, she walked into a special education music class and met Marcus, a boy with down syndrome. They became best friends, and he inspired her to start singing again, as well as pursue a career in special education.

“He has been such a kind person who sees me for the things I want people to see me for … pushing Marcus to be social has encouraged me to be okay with going out and being who I am. He’s changed my life. I have the confidence now to do what I love,” said Maddie.

When Maddie auditioned for “American Idol,” Marcus was there to support his closest friend. He was there to see her stand up in front of the judges and give a stellar performance that left everyone in the room speechless.

Watch Maddie’s inspirational audition in the video below. Please like and share!