See Former ‘American Idol’ Frontrunner Kenedi Anderson Through the Years

From a fun-filled childhood to living out her dreams, former American Idol hopeful Kenedi Anderson has already lived a full life — and she’s still just a teen.

“Having a big family has helped me a lot. I’m one of six children and second oldest,” the singer revealed during her audition for season 20 of the singing competition series, which aired in April 2022. She added, “We’re all pretty close, but we’ve been through a lot together. Everyone in my family is really athletic, and I’m the musical one.”

The pianist, who stunned all three judges with her performance of Lady Gaga’s “Applause” — in which she sang and accompanied herself on piano — shocked everyone once more when she decided to leave the show only four episodes in.

Longtime host Ryan Seacrest announced her departure later that month, noting they didn’t have any voting information for Anderson because she was no longer a contestant. For her part, Anderson followed up the next day with a statement via Instagram.

“For personal reasons, I’m unable to continue on American Idol. This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary,” she wrote at the time. “I’m so grateful to American Idol, the judges, the producers, the amazing contestants, and all the fans who have supported me. Thank you for giving me such an amazing opportunity to share my voice, chase my dreams, feel so much joy and happiness doing what I love, and make lifelong friends along the way.”

While the Virginia resident has yet to reveal a reason for her sudden exit, judge Luke Bryan talked about the pressures contestants face.

“These kids, they got a lot coming at ’em,” he told USA Today in April 2022, specifically mentioning Anderson. “I think, potentially for [Anderson’s] career, her being a part of our family is as good as the route or the way to the top can be. But, if you’re having doubts and anxieties and other things … we’re heartbroken as a show because she was so dynamic and great.”

Despite her early departure from the series, the reality star has already hit multiple milestones. Just two days after she left American Idol, she released a snippet of a song via TikTok. The following month, she attended her senior prom, and in June 2022, she graduated from high school.

“No more school for meee hehehe #graduation,” she captioned a series of Instagram photos from the event.

Keep scrolling to see Anderson’s transformation through the years: