19 YO Singer With Incurable Skin Condition Inspires Judges With His Positivity [VIDEO]

Jackson Gillies had all of the judges inspired by his positive attitude during his Season 17 American Idol audition. The 19-year-old suffering from an incurable skin condition called Hidradenitis suppurativa shared his musical talents with the world. Check out his unforgettable audition below.

Jackson Gillies Auditioned For ‘American Idol’ While Suffering From Skin Condition

Jackson previously met Katy Perry at an event benefiting first responders. He said he was really impacted by meeting Katy because she was very direct and gave him all of her attention. When he was diagnosed with HS, his parents decided it would be best for the family to move from Florida to Santa Barbara to improve Jackson’s diet and health. Katy is also from Santa Barbara so they bonded over that.


Katy asked how Jackson still has a positive attitude through it all. He said that being a diabetic since he was 3 years old taught him not to dwell on things. He was 14 when he began growing abscesses on his legs which doctors later diagnosed as HS. This autoimmune condition causes small painful lumps to form underneath the skin. It prevented him from walking for a few months due to how painful it was. Music was the thing that got him through it all.

The Judges Were Very Impressed With His Positivity

He sang “Make It Rain” by Foy Vance during his American Idol audition. “I’m just very happy for you, very amazed with all of your struggles, all of your hurdles and then to be so talented and so blessed in the vocal singing category is amazing,” Luke Bryan said.

“I had a couple of things that bothered me this morning when I woke up,” Lionel Richie said. “I’m going to go to bed now, I don’t have a care in the world because of how you’re looking at your life and the positive approach that you’re taking is the perfect example for all of us.” Katy praised Jackson for his tremendous talent and said that he really needs to make her and their hometown of Santa Barbara proud. He made it to Hollywood and even got to perform an original song before he was eliminated from the competition.

If you were inspired by Jackson’s positive outlook on life despite everything he has been through, check out the video below. Host Mriganka talks about some of the most moving acts of all time on talent competition shows and their stories.

Where Is Jackson Gillies Now?

After appearing on American Idol, Jackson got to meet music superstars John Mayer and Harry Styles. That is pretty much everyones dream come true so major props to him.

He has released his own original music after attending music school in London. “I realized soon after my time on the show ended that I had a lot of work to do,” he wrote on Instagram. “Not with my performing or my guitar playing; but with MYSELF. I gave myself the harsh (but true) assessment that I wasn’t bringing anything new to the table, and it’s because of who I was as a PERSON, not a performer.” Jackson channeled everything he has learned over the course of the past few years into his latest song “I Could’ve Loved You.”

If you are a fan of Jackson, you can go to LukeTheatre.org and listen to an entire acoustic concert that he just recorded in Santa Barbara. He performed 10 original songs and covers to give people something to smile about amid the pandemic.


Jackson’s American Idol journey was super inspiring and we sense big things will be coming his way in the future.

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