American Idol season 20 finalist and country singer HunterGirl released her single, “Red Bird” on May 13, and she revealed the backstory behind the song that inspired her to write it. Twenty-three-year-old HunterGirl is originally from Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee. Before her American Idol experience, she was a music therapist who worked with veterans to turn their war experiences into songs. HunterGirl’s Nashville audition impressed the judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan so much that they awarded her one of the three platinum tickets of the season. HunterGirl has since sailed through the competition with her authentic country performances, including her original song, “Heartbreak Down,” which climbed the music charts after she sang it on the Top 20 episode of the show. With her stellar vocals and outstanding songwriting ability, HunterGirl has since made it all the way to the Top 5 of the American Idol competition.
HunterGirl released her single along with her fellow American Idol season 20 Top 7 contestants, Nicolina, Jay Copeland, Fritz Hager, Christian Guardino, Leah Marlene, and Noah Thompson. The song, “Red Bird,” is about HunterGirl praying for a visit from a red bird to help restore her faith. The song was inspired by the belief that if a person sees a cardinal, the red bird is one of their loved ones paying a visit from Heaven to watch over them. HunterGirl co-wrote “Red Bird” with Austin Goodloe and Matt McKinney, and it was produced by Jimmy Robbins.
In an interview with Music Mayhem, HunterGirl revealed the backstory of “Red Bird” and why she was inspired to write it. She shared that she cried while she wrote it because the message behind the song means so much to her. HunterGirl said that red birds have been “a big sign” in her life since she was a little girl. She explained, “There is a saying that states, ‘When a cardinal appears around you, it is one of your family members in Heaven coming down to visit you.’ My mom also told me when I was younger that if I made a wish on a red bird, when it flies my wish will come true.”
HunterGirl went on to say that on the evening of the first episode of American Idol, she was driving to her family’s house and felt “terrified” about being on television. She revealed that she thought, “What if people don’t like me? What if I am not good enough? I was talking to God and I said, ‘I know that you know everything is going to be okay, but could you just let me know?'” HunterGirl shared that right after she asked that question, “a red bird flew across my window and more flew as I drove down the road. It was like He was saying everything was going to be alright.” She said that the day after the American Idol episode aired, she went back to Nashville to write “Red Bird” with her two friends, Austin and Matt. HunterGirl shared, “This is a song that is from my heart. I hope that this song can help someone like it helped me when I wrote it.”
American Idol season 20 finalist HunterGirl has been a frontrunner to win the competition since her audition because of her musical talent and artistry. She is a genuine person with a heart of gold. Her ability to write relatable and inspiring songs such as “Red Bird” is very impressive. The song is currently climbing to the top of the charts. Whether or not HunterGirl takes home the American Idol crown, she has already won.
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.