John Arthur Greene Reveals Tragic Past On 'American Idol' Season 15 Auditions

Though American Idol has earned the reputation in its 15 seasons for having the craziest auditions on television, it is also known for having plenty of heart-wrenching ones. That certainly rang true tonight. 27-year-old John Arthur Greene opened up about his tragic past during his Philadelphia audition and his story is certainly a tear-jerker. Greene's older brother passed away suddenly at the age of 12. It was this hardship that inspired Greene to take up music as an outlet for his grief. While the circumstances are unfortunate, they are what helped Greene become what he is today — an established Broadway star with a ticket to Hollywood.

When they were little, Greene and his brother would play "Cops & Robbers" using the guns in their family's home — which were always unloaded. One day, though, Greene, who was 7 at the time, unknowingly picked up a loaded gun while he was playing and shot his brother with it. Greene admits that he held his brother as he died, knowing what was happening. After his brother passed, the now-27-year-old channeled his grief into music, calling it his "survival mechanism."

While Greene's story is extremely tragic, it's refreshing to hear him speak so openly about it. Shocking, yes, but better than having him turn into himself and become overwhelmed with holding it in. American Idol was a great platform for him to voice his story, as it is sure to raise some important issues in the commuity at-large. Instead of worrying about his career and reputation, Greene spoke the truth — and that is certainly an honorable trait for anyone to have.

With a two to one vote, Greene was voted through to Hollywood. I, for one, can't wait to see what he has in store for us next. One can only hope that he'll continue to use his public platform for good.

See his audition in full:

American Idol on YouTube

Image: YouTube/American Idol