The fourth night of auditions for American Idol” 2018 continued on March 19, and the first hopefuls from New Orleans knew their way with a song. Judge Katy Perry kept reiterating that she and her fellow judges, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, had to find great talent. For this night, the measure of great was being able to make the hair stand up on the bodies of every seated judge on the panel, and those occurrences did happen. What was even more striking in a few notable talents was their motivation beyond a deep desire to pursue music as a career.

Every talented dreamer crosses the miles in hopes of realizing a passion through the auditions, but in a few special cases, the people in their lives represent the deepest purpose in their music.

These are a few shining examples of selflessness that shined beyond simply the artist’s talent:

Brandon Elder holds a bond deeper than blood

A mix of solid and shaky voices was speckled through the night’s auditions before Brandon Elder came onto the famous oval of “American Idol” to perform. The 22-year-old from Alabama already has known enough tragedy to fill a lifetime and has only been devoted to music for a year or so, but the source of that music never leaves his spirit. He knows the story that his biological mom traded him for a car.

His abandonment led to his eventual adoption at age 7 by a mother who worked two jobs to provide all the parenting and the special routines like sports that any son remembers from childhood.

His adoptive mother waged her own battle with breast cancer, becoming cancer free for a few years, before a devastating recurrence that could no longer be treated.

Brandon's first guitar was a gift from his mother, and he learned its chords as a “really terrible” beginner before playing songs for her. Losing a loved one to cancer is like seeing someone drowning far from shore. There is no life ring or rope that can reach them, and the only ministry any loved one can give is to be at a bedside, to listen, to touch, and to comfort.

Elder’s mother passed away in April of 2016, and his original song, “Gone,” riveted anyone listening to the singer.

The lovely longing and heartfelt truth of the song will be remembered in the annals of “American Idol” long after this year. Luke Bryan praised the songwriting as being “magically from the heart,” and Lionel Richie concurred that the songwriting gift manifested in this young artist, and would stay “forever.” Katy Perry simply said, “You’re there,” before offering the golden ticket. Moments like this are golden to witness when song truly reaches higher realms.

Daniel Etheridge sings to his sister

It didn't take long for Daniel Etheridge to describe the strange reception that he sometimes gets, being an Asian-American country singer from Austin, Texas.

The sound and the soul is what counts, and Daniel has some grit in his vocals, too. He sang Chris Stapleton's “Fire Away” first before Katy Perry asked if he had a song of his own. The ballad he composed and sang in defense of his little sister, who was being bullied at school (and a little bit from dad) over her insistence that her brother was a star already was brimming with love and showed that Daniel was completely comfortable with himself as a singer-songwriter. “A little Jim Croce never hurt anybody,” Lionel Richie praised, and Daniel Etheridge may have a lengthy “American Idol” stay.

Payton does more than play for little sister Taryn

Payton and Taryn Coccia are sisters, and like many sisters, the New Jersey siblings share a deep bond.

Before her moment to shine, older sister Payton kept repeating that she was there to play for Taryn, and support her through this moment that she has yearned for for so long. Taryn tore into Jessy J’s “Masterpiece,” for all she was worth and did a commendable job. Whispers between Katy and Lionel let everyone know that they were to something else. Soon, the question came, asking if Payton sang. Of course, she replied that she does, paying for her college books by singing at the airport. Katy asked if she wanted to audition, and she replied that “Today, I'm here for Taryn.”

When asked if she wanted to try for her own “American Idol” opportunity, she responded in the affirmative and offered a John Prine classic with complete ease.

Payton took a Golden ticket first, and Taryn’s vote was tense for a second. Katy felt she wasn't quite ready, but Lionel and Luke saw something to work with, so the sisters both took gold.

Marcio Donaldson is more than a hands-on dad

Marcio Donaldson did something that few contestants on “American Idol” ever do. He held his infant son, even before singing a note or sharing his story of growing up “in the system” of broken foster care. Luke Bryan begged for babysitting duties. Donaldson poignantly described his terrible, tumultuous childhood, and that of his sister, due to their mother’s drug addiction. His sister also had to surrender her son because of the same issues.

He vividly described the night that child protective services brought this baby to him, telling him he only had a day to decide to keep the child or relinquish him to that same “system.” So young himself, Marcio was determined to raise Rashad from just a week old.

“I want to show him what a man can do if he steps up to the plate,” the father affirmed.

Donaldson poured every fiber of himself into the Labrinth song, “Jealous.” The baby son’s gaze never left his father for a second through the song, a father-son ode. Luke Bryan said that Marcio had “a real voice,” and this was a real moment that will transform these two lives and countless more.