I don’t know about you, but I have always romanticized about the idea of being on American Idol, receiving that golden ticket from world renowned judges, and heading off to Hollywood. Recently a young woman named Amber Lynn Stoppel had the opportunity to do just this.
Amber Lynn, along with her friend James Dawson V, headed off to Denver Colorado not too long ago to try out for American Idol. After lots of waiting, Amber and James walked on a small stage in front of the judges for American Idol’s 15th and final season. Needless to say, the judges were more than impressed. That day both Amber and James received their well-deserved golden tickets, and off to Hollywood they went!!
Hollywood week was filled with mixed emotions. From excited, to nervous, to trying to make friends with certain people while avoiding others — it was insane. Yet through it all, Amber expressed to me how she felt so much of Heavenly Father’s guidance through it all, and so much clarity while going through it. Not the type of clarity that she was going to make it through the next round or win the show, but more feelings of calmness and comfort about her purpose, and why she was there.
I asked Amber to share her feelings about her purpose for being there. “I felt that the reason I was there was truly for James, I believed that he wouldn’t do it by himself. Not that he needed me or that he couldn’t get through it on his own just fine. but that my giving him a push was what he really needed.”
Although Amber and James’ ride together on American Idol has come to end, she expressed to me in our interview that getting to experience this with James will be something she will never forget, and that everything they went through on the show allowed her and James to build a bond they couldn’t form anywhere else.
Positivity Despite The Outcome Of Idol
Amber Lynn made it to top 20 on the show, but sadly, was eliminated last week. Yet her positive attitude, shown through what she shared with me as well as what she posted on her Facebook wall after the elimination took place, is what will keep her going and pressing forward in her love and passion for music.
Although Amber was not yet eliminated when I met with her, she expressed, “The hardest part about this whole process was the audition and Hollywood week, now that those are over, however many rounds I make it through will just be icing on the cake.” Amber received some icing on her cake, and now that her journey with American Idol is over, she is ready to take on the next.
Amber said that being on the show was a very cool and exciting experience, but that she feels happy and content with the progress she made. “So many things come from American Idol that you can’t really get from anywhere else. I am just hoping to use the show to its best advantage as long as I am on it, and ride it as long as I can.” Her ride wasn’t the longest ride, but it brought her a long way. I believe that experience is the key to life, and the fact that Amber even got to experience American Idol is something that will change and affect her positively in great ways.
Amber said, “You just need to get up there and do what you do, and if they like it, they like it, if they don’t, then somebody else will.”
Amber Lynn, age 28, grew up in Santa Maria, California. She is the oldest of six children. She graduated college from Brigham Young University in Rexburg, Idaho. She earned a degree in psychology and now works as a social worker, helping adults with autism with independent living. Amber’s hobbies include hiking, being in the mountains, exploring, and of course, music. She plays the guitar as well as the piano.
Amber’s father was in a local band while she was growing up, so she was around music all the time. She joined choir in High School, and once she got to college she started doing performances. “People seemed to enjoy what I did, so I kept doing it. I got addicted to the feeling of performing and being on stage.”
Blues and Jazz heavily influence Amber’s music style. The elements of her songs include bluesy guitar and horns, gospel style piano and organ. Her albums include a gospel flare in them, and she calls her style of music “Soul.”
It All Made Sense
Amber’s life was changed forever when at age 14 she became friends with a group of LDS youth in her Junior High School. Soon after her friendship with them began, the missionaries came by and she was taught the gospel, and converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She told me how “It all just clicked, it all made sense.”
She grew up with her father who was a member of a non-denominational Christian church. Her father loved the Bible and would read it to her often. She felt that because of this spiritual background, her transition into being a member of the Church was an easy one. Being the oldest of six kids, she has been pretty independent her whole life. This helped her be able to join the Church and start to follow her own path.
Ever since her choice to join, she has never once questioned anything about the Church. She says, “There are challenges that come with being a convert and the only member of my family, and of course I wish they would join, but I don’t worry too much about it because I know that in the next life, everything will work out the way it is supposed to.” For now, she feels that she has a special weight on her to be an example and live what she believes.
Lexi was attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She had a love for the outdoors and for long boarding. One day while long boarding on campus, a car came out of nowhere and hit Lexi. The outcome was dreadful, and she was given less than a 1% chance of survival. A miracle occurred, and Lexi is now serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has no lasting injuries from the accident.
Hearing about Lexis touched Amber greatly, and she reached out to Lexi shortly after her recovery and asked if she would like to be part of a video to help tell her story. Lexi accepted the invitation, and you can now find this beautiful and amazing story of Lexi, told through song by Amber, on YouTube.
Be Still My Soul/His Eye Is On The Sparrow
Amber’s most recent song and video “Be Still My Soul/His Eye Is On The Sparrow” has received quite a bit of attention, and is absolutely stunning. Amber created this mashup when asked to sing a hymn in Sacrament Meeting in her ward.
She loves the song His Eye Is On The Sparrow, but felt that she needed to do a hymn when she sang in church. With that, she took one of her favorite hymns, “Be Still My Soul,” and took her other favorite religious song, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” and mashed them together into an amazing masterpiece. Amber got together with her friend Rashida Call, who does most of the piano music for Amber, and the two of them worked together to make this idea come to life.
I asked Amber why she chose these two songs to put together, and she said that to her, they are conveying the same spiritual and uplifting message. “They are both about finding peace and knowing that you are a Child of God. They are about feeling cared for and protected. Life is hard but be calm and know that the Lord is on your side.”
Amber really wants people to know that her philosophy on music is that wherever music and the industry takes her, she doesn’t care, as long as she always loves doing music. If it is in the plan for her to gain a lot of attention, she will take that opportunity, but she never wants to run the risk of not enjoying what she does because of pressure of publicity. She wants to avoid getting to a point where she feels overwhelmed or that expectations for her are too high.
For Amber, music is not about having a job, but rather, about expressing yourself and your soul, and connecting with and uplifting all those around you.
Amber ended with telling me, “The older you get and the more experiences you have, you look back and see that that was absolutely 100% supposed to happen. Everything happens and works out for a reason.”