Former ‘American Idol’ Finalist Caleb Kennedy Arrested After Fatal DUI Accident

Caleb Kennedy/Instagram

Former American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy had been charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in death after a crash in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Tuesday (February 8).

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, 17-year-old Kennedy was behind the wheel of a 2011 Ford pickup when he turned onto a private driveway shortly after noon and struck a workshop behind the home. 54-year-old Larry Duane Parris was inside the workshop and was killed in the crash.

Kennedy was transported to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. He was later booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center and is awaiting a bond hearing.

Kennedy competed on Season 19 of American Idol and wowed the judges during his audition with his original song, “Nowhere.” Judge Katy Perry told the then-16-year-old that he had something special. “You’re a real songwriter, but you’ve got a grit and gravel and crack in your voice that says ‘I’m in pain. Someone please come save me through this song.’ There’s a lot of people like you,” Perry said.

Lionel Richie praised the teen’s talent, saying he had a “storyteller’s voice,” and later added that he had great expectations for Kennedy. Caleb advanced to the Top 5 before withdrawing after a controversial video was released.

Kennedy posted a statement to Instagram following his exit from Idol and said that he displayed actions “that were not meant to be taken in that way.” He apologized to his fans and stated that he was going to be taking some time to better himself.


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