Marcio Donaldson first auditioned for American Idol last year, and while he was accepted to Hollywood, he was eliminated during the group stages. This year, he came back – a changed man, with a whole new story to tell and a lot of life changes behind him.

Marcio’s life had never been easy. He and his sister entered foster care at a very young age, and he used music as a means of coping. It provided him with hope, and things seemed to be going well. Then, shortly after his brief time on last season’s American idol, he found that his sister was pregnant.

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But his sister couldn’t keep the baby due to her struggles with drugs. The police went to her home to collect the child from her – and they showed up at Marcio’s and gave him ten minutes to decide whether he wanted to become the child’s guardian or whether he would end up in foster care.

Marcio knew he had to take in his nephew, so he did. He hadn’t the faintest idea what he was doing, but the decision would change his life. Now, he wants to prove to his little one that he can be a guardian who can step up to the plate and care for him.

Marcio told this story to the judges when he returned to American Idol for a second audition, and he immediately struck a chord with judge Lionel Richie. The judge and seasoned singer had adopted his daughter Nicole and raised her as his own when his bandmate couldn’t look after her, and he couldn’t resist going up to Marcio and giving him a hug.

We wish Marcio all the best in the future as he continues to sing for hope, and now, for his nephew.