Ashley High student sings his way to Hollywood


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — What would you do if you had the chance to sing in front of pop star Katy Perry, country icon Luke Bryan, and R&B legend Lionel Richie? Well, for one Wilmington teen it was a dream come true.

From making Youtube videos to singing in front of musical legends, that’s what Ashley High School Sophomore Joshua Ward got to do.

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“I think I remember Luke almost sitting up in his chair whenever I said I was going to sing Rihanna,” Ward said. “He was like ‘Well OK then.'”

Ward is not your typical 16-year-old student, his dream to sing on “American Idol” is now a reality.

“Unlike any feeling I’ve ever experienced before,” Ward said. “Finally getting that dream after watching it on TV for years.”

Getting the chance to sing in front of three of his musical icons was also a dream come true.

“Oh my goodness, Katy Perry just complimented me and called me a little southern Hallmark card. That made my life,” Ward said. “When Luke started talking to me he said, ‘Well man your voice is like a Ferrari.’ And that was like oh my goodness. That’s crazy, Luke Bryan did not just compare my voice to a Ferrari.”

Ward used his unique voice to make it all the way to Hollywood.

“Next thing I knew I had a golden ticket in my hand,” Ward said. “And I was like Woo! This is crazy.”

Ward grew up loving music and “American Idol.” But it was not an easy road. Ward went from Charleston, to Chicago, to Savannah on his own dime before finally making it in front of the star judges.

“It’s finally that sense of accomplishment like, man I did it. I’ve done what I’ve always dreamed of doing,” Ward said.

Could this 16-year-old possibly be the next “American Idol”?

“Obviously I would love to win,” Ward said. “That would be amazing. But I really do want to do this for the rest of my life. This is my dream. This is my passion.”

Because Ward will be on “American Idol” Monday night at 8 p.m. WWAY was not allowed to record him singing or playing his guitar.

However, if you want to see him live he will perform the National Anthem before the Azalea Festival parade.