By Tina Ray/ParaglideJanuary 27, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - When David Leathers Sr. found out his son and namesake, David "DJ" Leathers Jr. could sing, he helped DJ pursue his dream of becoming a professional singer by booking him for competitions as well as church and social functions.
The pursuit of that dream landed DJ, 17, a senior at 71st High School, behind the mic of Fox's "American Idol" tryouts in Savannah, Ga. When the show aired Wednesday, DJ was the first contestant.
The Family has ties to Fort Bragg as Leathers Sr. is a civilian employee on post.
DJ, who told the judges that he was from Fayetteville, N.C., and that his nickname was "Mr. Steal your Girl", went on to wow them with a rendition of "Remember the Rain" by 21st Century.
"He looks like he's 12," said "American Idol" judge, Jennifer Lopez.
"Like a young Michael" (Jackson), said fellow judge, Randy Jackson.
Lopez asked DJ if he knew any young Michael, and he proceeded to sing the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye."
"Dude, we love you, man," Jackson said.
Waiting outside the audition room, Leathers Sr. said that a ticket to Hollywood would be a dream come true.
Apparently, dreams do come true -- DJ got the golden ticket to Hollywood.
DJ, who is a senior at 71st High School in Fayetteville has said that academics are very important to him, and that he especially loves science.
Music, however, seems to be the nearest and dearest to his heart. Perhaps like any typical teenage songwriter, he has previously written songs about girls.
He told Idol officials that he got the "Mr. Steal your Girl" nickname because once he sings for girls, they tell him that they love him.
Stay tuned to future broadcasts to see how young DJ does. "American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays, at 8 p.m., on Fox.
The Hollywood rounds will air Feb. 9. Until then, the Family, per contest rules, is prohibited from talking about the outcome of the show.