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Watch: Superstar singer Katy Perry called this Indian-origin teenager on ‘American Idol’ her hero

15-year-old Alyssa Raghunandan captivated all three judges with her singing.


Alyssa Raghunandan is just 15, but the teenager’s singing captivated judges on American Idol from almost the very first note.

Raghunandan, or Raghu as she prefers to be called, is an Indian-origin singer from Orlando, Florida. Her audition earlier in March (video above) for season 16 of the singing reality show American Idol impressed the three judges, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, enormously.

Following Raghu’s performance of Ariana Grande’s Almost Is Never Enough, the judges unanimously declared that the teenager belonged to the top 10 of the show. They had trouble containing their excitement the moment she started singing and right after the performance, Perry told her, “I full-body felt what you were singing. I am a believer in you.” Perry continued to praise the singer on Twitter:

Raghu, of course, won the “ticket to Hollywood” and will be competing in the following rounds. Here is another of her performances on the show from just a couple of days ago. This time, she chose to sing Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings.

The singer was raised by her father Dennis Raghunandan, whom she calls her “best bud”, after her parents got divorced when she was very young. Raghu has been singing for years now, and she regularly posts music covers on her YouTube channel.

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What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

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But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.