Iowa’s own Maddie Poppe and Season 16 winner of American Idol is bringing her solo acoustic show to Ottumwa’s Bridge View Center Theater on Friday, January 21, at 7:30 p.m. Maddie’s sophomore album Whirlwind reached #2 on the iTunes Pop Charts and her hit single “Made You Miss” earned #19 on the Hot AC Radio Charts. Her sentimental ballad “Not Losing You” also swept radio charts, reaching #17.
She has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! among other shows and has performed at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and CMA Fest in Nashville. In fall 2019, Maddie supported Ingrid Michaelson on The Dramatic Tour, an experience she calls “a dream come true.”
In her American Idol audition held in New York, Poppe sang “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie. Judge Lionel Richie said she had a “storytelling voice” and that “we need you in this show.” Katy Perry said she had a “distinctive quality in your voice” and Luke Bryan said “I’m not critiquing you, ’cause you got me, I’m saying yes.” After singing her original song “Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up,” Perry said Poppe reminded her of herself as they “write a little bit of the same style.”
Before her Top 24 performance, Poppe admitted that she didn’t expect to win American Idol, planning to make it to Top 24 and get eliminated at some point. “This sounds terrible, but I don’t want to go into things with super high hopes because then, obviously, I would be super let down if it doesn’t work out,” she told Bobby Bones. Poppe also admitted she has stage fright. “I remember times when I’d gotten up on stage and it totally just flopped. I fear that every time I walk on stage, I worry that it’s going to happen again.”
In her Top 14, Poppe sang “Homeward Bound” by Simon & Garfunkel, sparking Katy Perry to remark, “I closed my eyes and I thought I was listening to Joni Mitchell,” while Luke Bryan labeled the interweaving of her modal voice and falsetto as “seasoned” and “big-time pro.”
Prior to the show’s May 20th finale, Governor Kim Reynolds declared May 20, 2018 to be “Maddie Poppe Day.” During the finale, she performed her winners’ single “Going Going Gone, ” which was originally written by Mitch Allan, Lindy Robbins and Julia Michaels. At the end of the show, after Poppe performed “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, Katy Perry revealed she would be voting for her. On the results show broadcast on May 21, Poppe was declared the winner.