Chayce Beckham is one of the three finalists competing to be the next American Idol. The three-hour finale event begins on Sunday, May 23 at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC. The episode will air live coast-to-coast so all fans can vote and see the winner at the same time.
Beckham’s family was instrumental in getting him on the Idol stage. He has said his family, especially his mother and stepfather, pushed him to audition.
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Here’s what you need to know:
1. Beckham Moved In With His Mom & Stepfather After a Near-Death Experience
In the video about his audition, Beckham explained to American Idol producers that the past year had been a “rollercoaster” and that his life had been “flipped upside down.” His mother weighed in and said Beckham had been “on a dark path.” She tearfully explained her son had gone through a difficult patch.
The rough patch culminated in a dangerous car accident on October 31, 2020, according to the Victorville Daily Press. Beckham told the newspaper he’d consumed too many alcoholic drinks and crashed while trying to drive home. His vehicle flipped and ended up upside-down along a highway.
Beckham told Taste of Country the crash was a major turning point in his life. “I finally woke up and came to, and I remember looking up and there was nobody there to pull me up, there was nobody there to be like, ‘Come on, dude.’ That was the worst night of my life.”
Beckham returned home to Apple Valley after the crash. He lived with his mother and stepfather while he recuoperated. And it was during this time that they pushed him to audition for American Idol. His stepfather told producers the competition gave Beckham “a reason to live and move forward.”
2. Beckham’s Mother, Windie Petersen, Works in Real Estate
Beckham’s mother is Windie Lynn Petersen. She works for Agio Real Estate as a salesperson. Petersen’s obtained her current sales license in 2007, according to records on the California Department of Real Estate website.
According to her bio on Agio’s website, Petersen specializes in properties located in the “High Desert.” It adds that she has lived in the Apple Valley area for three decades.
On the Mother’s Day episode of American Idol, Beckham performed an original song dedicated to Petersen. The lyrics to “Mamma” include apologies for past bad behavior. He also thanked her for everything she had done for him. After the song wrapped, Idol cut to a shot of Petersen watching from her home. She looked tearful as she clutched both hands to her chest and told Beckham, “You make my heart happy.”
Beckham actually debuted “Mamma” on Instagram back in January. He posted a video of himself playing the song on his guitar and asked his followers for feedback.
3. Terry Petersen Has Been Beckham’s Stepfather for Most of Beckham’s Life, Online Records Suggest
Beckham’s stepfather is Terry Petersen. He’s been there alongside Windie to cheer on Beckham during his American Idol journey.
On April 19, Beckham posted two photos on Instagram that appeared to be screenshots from the television broadcast. Both Terry and Windie wore shirts that read “Proud parents” and had Beckham’s name on them. They also had a t-shirt for the dog, a French bulldog named “Festus The Bestus Frenchie.” (The dog has its own Instagram account).
The dog’s shirt read “Proud dog brother.” Beckham wrote in the caption in part, “Shoutout to my mom and @festusthebestusfrenchie for stealing the show. Miss y’all. Terry you killed it. I can’t wait to see y’all.”
A search of online records suggests Terry Petersen worked in insurance. He was listed as the owner of a company called Northstar Pacific Insurance. It was headquartered in Victorville, which is located just a few miles away from Apple Valle. California business records show the company was registered with the state in 1998 but was dissolved just one year later. He filed for bankruptcy around the same time. Online records from 1999 list “Lynn Petersen” as sharing the debt with Terry, indicating they were married by then.
4. Beckham Has Four Sisters
Beckham is the only boy in a family of girls. According to the Victorville Daily Press, Beckham has four sisters.
Older sister Tiffani Beckham lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma. According to her Facebook page, she is a realtor with Keller Williams Realty.
Tiffani and sister Madison Beckham have both been posting about Chayce’s American Idol adventure on their respective Facebook pages. Both have urged their friends and followers to vote for him. Madison’s Facebook page also includes several photos with horses.
5. Beckham’s Family Has Mexican, German & Irish Ancestry
Beckham started playing the guitar at a young age. He told the Victorville Daily Press he started playing after picking up an old guitar his grandmother had in the house.
Beckham talked a bit about his family to the local newspaper. On his father’s side of the family, Beckham said he has a grandfather who was a “full-blooded German.” He also has a grandmother who immigrated to he United States from Mexico in the 1960s on that side of the family.
Beckham joked that his relatives on his mother’s side of the family were “all hillbillies.” He added that side might have Irish and Scottish ancestry.
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