Rising star Keelin from Long Island wows judges on ‘American Idol’


Keelin McGinn, who goes by Keelin, is making waves in the music industry as she competes on the 21st season of “American Idol.”

Originally from Oakdale, Keelin spent her early childhood on the island before moving to Ireland with her family. Her passion for music began at a young age, and she used to perform at local fairs and festivals in Ireland with her family.

“Growing up music was always around me,” she told Greater Long Island in a Zoom interview. “When I was 5 my parents put me in musical theater.”

She recently returned to Long Island to kick-start her music career professionally, settling in Medford.

Keelin’s audition on “American Idol” featured her original song, “Don’t Call Me,” which she wrote after experiencing heartbreak from being love-bombed and then ghosted by a guy she was talking to. Despite the personal pain behind the song, Keelin delivered an infectious performance that caught the attention of the judges.

Katy Perry and Lionel Richie were impressed by Keelin’s energy and storytelling. Perry even compared her to Meghan Trainor, saying, “You remind me a little bit of Meghan Trainor in a sense of just this very unique perspective. I think you’re a star.”

Richie added, “Things that are memorable, that’s what makes careers. You’re memorable. I would love to see where you go.” Keelin’s talent and charisma won her the votes needed to get the golden ticket to move on to the next round of competition in Hollywood.

Here was her audition:

But Keelin’s success on American Idol isn’t the only thing she’s been up to lately. She also recently released her newest single, “All Over Me,” which she hopes will inspire women.

According to Keelin, “It’s a song about empowering women to be who they want to be, to do what they want to do, and not apologize for it.” The song showcases Keelin’s incredible vocals, her ability to write catchy hooks, and her knack for delivering powerful messages.

Despite her newfound fame, Keelin remains grounded in her love for Long Island. She enjoys visiting local shops on Main Street, especially in Patchogue, and getting brunch at Toast Coffee + Kitchen or dinner from Mexican 3000. With her hometown pride and undeniable talent, Keelin Kat is a rising star to watch.

Don’t miss out on seeing Keelin’s journey on American Idol. The next episode airs on ABC this Sunday, April 2, at 8 p.m.

To see our full eight-minute interview with Keelin, click below.

Top: Keelin after winning her Golden Ticket to Hollywood on “American Idol.” (Courtesy photo)