Fordsville singer-songwriter Dakota Hayden got his coveted 'Golden Ticket' to Hollywood! He's taking the American Idol stage once again after falling just short last season. Will he have what it takes to advance to the Top 24 and win it all this year? He has the talent, charisma, and personality, but it's all up to the judges. It'll be fun to watch our country boy do his thing!

Dakota Hayden Music
Dakota Hayden Music/2022 American Idol Audition

Dakota Hayden left everything on the American Idol stage last season, but it wasn't quite enough to move him into the Top 24. But, his highly anticipated episode didn't disappoint. He showed such poise and confidence singing Luke Combs When it Rains it Pours. He received positive feedback from Lionel, Katy, and Luke called him Top 10 Material. He went on to flourish in the completion going head to head against fellow country music singer Dan Marshall in a nail-biter finish. Dakota stayed so humble throughout the entire competition so it's no surprise he held his composure at the end of it.

Dakota had this to say after his exit from the show, "I may not have made it to the Top 24, but I've grown in ways I never thought possible! You haven't heard the last of me yet!"

WDKS-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

This is a new year with new opportunities!

@ibstayfly is glad he's back. He was on last season. I love him. Not into country music but I can listen to him any day. He's cute too!

@rizaldepe8299 will be cheering him on this season after watching the performance. It reminded me of Laine Hardy.....see you in the finale young man, although there are a lot of good country artists this season, hope you can make it to the finale Dakota.

Dakota Hayden Music/ 2023 American Idol Audition
Dakota Hayden Music/ 2023 American Idol Audition


When I asked Dakota to play a fundraiser a few months ago, it now makes sense why he had to decline. He was kneedeep into his 'American Idol' journey! I was so happy that he isn't giving up on his dream. He came so close last season, so it makes sense to give it another try. He made the announcement on social media this week.

Many have asked and Yes I went back to American idol again! Unfortunately, my Audition wasn’t shown this year. But I’m So happy to finally announce that I got a golden ticket on @AmericanIdol! #HollywoodWeek starts next week, Sunday AND Monday on @ABCNetwork! Stay tuned as the competition heats up!
Thanks for the continued support!

I'm beyond proud of Dakota. He has such a big chance of winning the entire competition this season. If he doesn't? Won't matter. He has a BIG career ahead of him. Heck, the judges don't even know yet that he's also a special songwriter. We can't wait to see where this journey takes him! We'll all be watching and cheering him on.

Dakota Hayden Music
Dakota Hayden Music


Dakota Hayden competed in the 2020 season of "Shine" and WON the entire competition. It's a YouTube competition solely based on writing, music, and talent. He sang an original song called “Already Gone,” which was inspired by the loss of his grandfather. It's such a powerful song that continues to inspire.

Here's his winning "Shine" moment!

The Best Country Singer From Every State

Some states, like Oklahoma and Texas, are loaded with famous country singers. Others, like Nevada and Maine, are still looking for a real breakthrough artist. See the best and most successful country music artist from all 50 states, starting with Hank Williams and Alabama.

More From WDKS-FM