Alabama garbage man wows judges on American Idol, brings Katy Perry to tears

Published 4:35 pm Monday, February 17, 2020

An Alabama garbage truck driver from the Mobile area captured the hearts of the three American Idol judges Sunday night on the season premier.

Doug Kiker, who says he had only previously sung on the back of a garbage truck as he worked, performed for judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Singer and songwriter Richie asked Kiker why he wanted to be on American Idol.

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Kiker explained his mission was to teach his 2-year-old daughter a lesson.

“I’m trying to show here like if you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t do.”

Richie asked him how much experience he had before his American Idol tryout.

“I don’t have any. I sing on the back of the garbage truck. That’s it,” Kiker said.

The Alabama garbage man performed a few lines of “Bless the Broken Road.”

“I want to hear a little bit more. Show us your range,” judge Katy Perry said.

“I don’t know what that is. I’m sorry.” Kiker said.

Bryan got up and sat at a piano and led Kiker to mimic his lines to show his range.

“I’m a fan of the garbage man,” Bryan said.

“Do you understand what you just did?” Richie asked.

“Not really,” Kiker said.

“For a man who does not know what his voice can do. For a man who does not have an idea of what key he’s singing in,” Richie said. “For a man who has no idea who the heck he can be, he’s here to do one thing. He’s trying to show his daughter that he’s somebody. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I want us all to let you know …. You are a hell of a man.

“You’re going to Hollywood,” Richie said.

With tears in her eyes, Perry encouraged Kicker

“You just stay who you are and you’re going to go so far and you’re going to take your daughter with you to all the highest heights,” Perry said.

As he left the stage, Perry called out to him.

“Hey Doug, that wasn’t garbage, it was greatness,” she said.

To watch a clip of Kiker’s performance, visit: