American Idol contestant Nadia Turner had some iconic performances during season 4. She experienced a full circle moment 17 years later when her 21-year-old daughter Zaréh Isa earned a golden ticket to Hollywood in season 20. Zaréh told Nadia that they were going for a spa day, but instead surprised her by bringing her to her audition for the show. She wore the same top that her mother wore during her audition. Zaréh sang “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan, and earned a yes from all three judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, for which she received her golden ticket to Hollywood.
Nadia, who is now 45 years old, made it to the Top 8 of American Idol season 4 in 2005. With her passion for rock and soul music, along with her distinctive style, she captured the attention of the the judges at the time, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. Her musical influences include Jimi Hendrix, Roberta Flack, Prince, The Eagles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billie Holiday, and The Doors.
In 2018, Nadia was chosen to be the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador advocating for Child Rights. She is still making her own music and performing it live on tour. Nadia is also recording some new music with her band, Nadia Turner and the Son Kings. As her daughter begins her own American Idol journey, and Nadia continues her own musical adventure that began on the Idol stage, let’s relive some of Nadia’s best season 4 performances.
Power of Love
Twenty-eight-year-old Nadia burst into the Top 24 of season 4 with her powerful rendition of Ashley Cleveland’s song, “Power of Love.” After the performance, Randy said that he appreciated that she stayed true to herself, and Paula said that she was surprised because she had no idea that Nadia had it in her to perform like that, but that she really loved it. Simon told Nadia that she was “the antidote to karaoke hell,” which was what he felt that the audience had sat through all night. He praised her for not playing it safe, and said that she “threw the gauntlet down” to say that she was original and there to win.
Try A Little Tenderness
When Nadia performed “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding during the Top 16, she proved that she could take on the legends of the music industry. Randy said that she had star potential, even though he was a bit worried when he heard that she was taking on an Otis Redding song. However, he said that she rocked it and made it her own. Paula felt that she was brilliant because she knew how to choose the right songs for her and declared that she had an X factor that set her apart from the rest.
The best compliment came from notoriously critical Simon who said that she was amazing and that Nadia reminded him of a young Tina Turner. He admitted that he had been bored all evening, until Nadia took the stage, because she took a risk that would pay off because it was her best performance so far. What made the performance even more impressive was that Nadia shared that she had just learned the song, and that she had learned it in just four days.
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
During Top 12 week, Nadia revealed that she chose Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” because she felt that it fit her like a glove. After her stunning performance, Randy said that the show finally started, and Paula cheered that she was a fan and was excited for her and proud of her. Simon simply stated, “Nadia, in a competition full of hamburgers, you are a steak.” With this performance, Nadia’s star power became even stronger.
As Long As He Needs Me
Nadia sang “As Long As He Needs Me” from the musical Oliver! during the Top 9’s Broadway Night, saying that it was a beautiful song about loving a person no matter what they do, which was something that she had felt in her life. She shared that it was really fulfilling to be able “to convey that conviction of love” to her audience. She moved the audience with her gorgeous, soaring vocals. Randy called it a great performance, Paula said that she was absolutely beautiful, and Simon praised the performance as the strongest Nadia had given in three weeks.
Each time Nadia took the stage during American Idol season 4, she wowed the audience with her unique style and impressive vocals. She was a memorable contestant who made a strong impact on the show. She will be a great mentor to her own daughter as she competes in season 20. Through Zaréh’s journey, Nadia’s American Idol legacy will continue.
American Idol airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
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