Rachel Crow, the 13-year-old favorite to win The X Factor USA has already won acclaim with with her powerful and emotive vocals, but she's also gaining recognition after it transpired she lived through an abusive childhood.
Her adoptive mother Barbara made a heart wrenching admission to the New York Post, revealing how Rachel had lived in a crack den as a teenager and suffered a wave of abuse as a baby, saying, "She was born a crack baby and actually lived in a crack house and suffered a lot of abuse.But she is totally unaffected by it. She never looks at (her past) in a sad way. She looks at it as that is what made her the person she is". Rachel, one of only 11 contestants left in Simon Cowell's lucrative competition, says she would use the $5 million prize money to help other foster children achieve their dreams, also telling the Post, "I want to build a foundation that makes them feel good about themselves... whether they want to sing or act or whether they want be in sports or go to Harvard". The 13-year-old is not the only contestant on this year' show to triumph through adversity - singer Stacy Francis, who has two children, suffered an abusive relationship causing her to self-harm, while rapper Chris Rene is a former drug addict who turned his life around in search of his dream of becoming a singer. At his first audition, Chris told judges he had been sober for 70 days after leaving a rehabilitation clinic.
Performing at the end of Wednesday's movie themed X Factor show (9th November 2011) Crow belted out "I'd Rather Go Blind' from the 2008 musical biopic 'Cadillac Records', leading her mentor Cowell to exclaim, "You remind me of a Little Beyonce! You're back in the game!".