Singing to the top

By Michelle Costanza

January 17, 2014 Updated Jan 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM EDT

Norwich, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Kaitlyn Jackson has played a big part in the Binghamton Girls World Expo the past two years, but her singing landed her a place in the national spotlight Wednesday night.

A talent show performance at five years old led the Norwich teen to a childhood of local singing gigs, transforming the Chenango County Fair, Spiedie Fest, and the Deposit Lumberjack Festival into her stage.

"I've been singing forever my dad has always been singing around the house so I just kind of grew up singing with him," explained Kaitlyn.

After suffering a heart attack, Kaitlyn's grandfather inspired what her family describes as one of her most touching songs -- "Another Angel."

When she was eleven-year-old she traveled to Nashville to work through an artist development network, where her CD "Crush" was recorded.

"I got to work with Kent Wells, Taylor Swift's drummer, Dolly Parton's pianists, Reba McIntyre's guitarist on my songs," said Kaitlyn.

Nashville is big, but Kaitlyn is headed somewhere bigger.

Over 100,000 people tried out for the 13th edition of American Idol, and after her Boston performance debuted on television Wednesday night, Kaitlyn's family and community got the big news that she managed to grasp a golden ticket, and an opportunity of a lifetime.

One of over 200 contestants traveling to Hollywood, social media lit up with Kaitlyn Jackson's name.

Her mother, Terri Jackson said she was amazed at how quickly the word spread, "she had 44,000 hits and notifications right after her episode aired, and then she was trending... I don't even know what trending is!" she laughed.

Though the teen needs to make it through several more rounds, and tough competition, Kaitlyn said she will continue to sing no matter what happens, "I'm just really excited, it's such a great opportunity."

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