16-Year-Old Casey Bishop’s Cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” Wows American Idol Judges: Watch

The young vocalist duetted with Brandon Boyd of Incubus in a previous round of the singing competition

Casey Bishop sings Soundgarden
Casey Bishop, via American Idol

Teenage phenom singer Casey Bishop has brought hard rock to the forefront of American Idol. Her powerful rendition of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” this week astounded the show’s judges, with Katy Perry calling it Bishop’s best performance yet.

Previously, we heard Bishop nail an altered version of Mötley Crüe’s “Live Wire” during the show’s initial auditions, turning the glam-metal anthem into a soaring a cappella ballad. She even got the approval of Nikki Sixx himself.

In the singing competition’s latest round, Bishop channeled the late Chris Cornell — one of the most gifted vocalists in rock history — belting out an emotional rendition of “Black Hole Sun”. She loses herself in the affecting performance, stunning audience and judges alike. Her soulful delivery earned a Janis Joplin comparison from judge and R&B legend Lionel Richie.

With a composure well beyond her years, epic metal hair, and world-class pipes, one can easily picture Bishop in an actual stadium rock setting, whether she wins American Idol or not. Already taking a step into the big leagues, Bishop duetted with Brandon Boyd of Incubus on the band’s hit “Wish You Were Here” during the previous American Idol round, while also delivering a spirited cover of Paramore’s “Decode”.

So far, it looks like she’s one of the early frontrunners to win the season, with a nation of hard rock fans now on her side. The show has generally not featured much heavy music over the years, so Bishop’s song choices could expand the program’s viewership and voting base.

Bishop covering “Black Hole Sun” is also a much-needed positive headline for Soundgarden. The surviving members of the grunge band have been embroiled in a spiraling legal battle with Chris Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell. Soungarden’s latest filing will heard by Washington state courts on April 16th.

Watch Casey Bishop’s Soundgarden cover and previous duet with Incubus’ Brandon Boyd below.