Clifton's Rising Star: Hailey Mia's Journey from New Jersey to American Idol Clifton's Rising Star: Hailey Mia's Journey from New Jersey to American Idol

Hailey Mia, a 16-year-old Clifton native, captured the hearts of viewers on the latest season of “American Idol,” earning a standing ovation from celebrity judges and advancing to the Hollywood round. In an exclusive interview with, Mia shared her thoughts on her audition experience, musical inspirations, and the significance of her New Jersey upbringing.

Reflecting on her audition day, Mia admitted to feeling a mix of nerves and excitement. However, once she took the stage, she exuded calmness and delivered a captivating rendition of Katy Perry’s “Rise,” leaving the judges in awe.

For Mia, music has been a lifelong passion. She began singing as soon as she could speak and started vocal lessons in New York City at the age of 8. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mia remained dedicated to her craft, continuing to hone her skills through remote lessons.

Mia’s hard work and dedication paid off when she made it to the finals of NBC’s “The Voice” at just 14 years old. However, appearing on “American Idol” has always been her dream, and she describes the experience as “insane” now that she has made it to Hollywood.

Throughout her journey, Mia’s parents have been her biggest supporters, hosting watch parties and cheering her on every step of the way. She cites them as her greatest inspirations and credits them for nurturing her talent from a young age.

In terms of musical influences, Mia looks up to artists like Adele, Olivia Rodrigo, and Tate McRae. However, she also recognizes the importance of staying true to her own unique voice, which earned praise from “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan.

Despite her rising fame, Mia remains grounded in her New Jersey roots. Born and raised in Clifton, she cherishes the memories made in her hometown and embraces the diversity and seasons that the Garden State offers.

As she prepares for the next phase of her musical journey, Mia is focused on showcasing her talents and staying true to herself as an artist. While her next performance date is yet to be announced, fans can catch “American Idol” on Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC and stream it on Hulu the following day.

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Hailey Mia’s journey from Clifton to “American Idol” is not just a testament to her talent but also a celebration of the rich musical heritage and supportive community of New Jersey.

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