VIDEO: Famed St. Catharines guitarist’s daughter cracks Top-24 on American Idol


Published April 5, 2022 at 10:01 am

Leah Marlene, daughter of Honeymoon Suite guitarist-lyricist Derry Grehan, cracked the Top-24 with her Showstopper performance of last night's episode of the TV show American Idol. (Photo: ABC Entertainment)

Canadian rock fans with longer memories may remember a group based out of Niagara Falls in the 1980s called Honeymoon Suite.

Their name was a nod to the fact that Niagara Falls is considered the honeymoon capital of the world and through that decade they spawned countless chart-toppers – “Burning In Love,” “Stay In the Light,” “New Girl Now,” “Bad Attitude,” “Feel It Again,” and “What Does It Take” among them.

The lead guitarist and primary lyricist was a St. Catharines man, Derry Grehan, and at the moment, his 20-year-old daughter Leah Marlene is tearing it up on the famed American TV show, American Idol.

On last night’s (April 4) “Showstopper” portion of the show, she basically nailed it in front of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie with her rocked-out performance of “She’s A Self Made Man.”

Marlene, who now lives in Normal, Illinois, showcased not only her strong vocal range but she also got to bust out the guitar – much like Dad – and fire off some killer licks. Grehan himself was in the audience and part of the taping for the show-stopping performance.

“American Idol has completely changed my life,” she noted on the video below. “I know more than ever that this is what I want to do with my life and if I were able to make it into the Top-24, which I can barely say without my brain exploding, that would be just a whole other level of life-changing mess.”

Katy Perry had her on edge in the judge’s room discussing her Showstopper performance and bluffing that it wasn’t quite enough for the judges.

It was more than enough as she (spoiler alert) cracked the Top-24 and moved to the final rounds of the star-making show, all the while with her father at her side.

Here’s the performance that catapulted Leah Marlene into the finals.

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