WACO (February 6, 2014) Baylor Senior Savion Wright is sweeping America’s ears by storm.
The 21-year-old Jasper, TX native is currently in Hollywood, CA this week competing on American Idol.
Wright grew up with big dreams in a small town, when he first picked up a guitar as a kid he knew music was the only thing he’d pursue in life.
“I was always told to never give up on something you can’t go one day thinking about, and for me that was music,” Wright said.
“I believe you have to set goals to your passions. By the time I’m 30 I want to win a Grammy.”
All Wright needed was a platform, and for the aspiring musician, no stage was bigger than American Idol.
“I was inspired by Carrie Underwood when she won Idol. She’s a small town kid, and so am I, so I felt like I could do what she had done,” he said.
But Wright put off auditioning for eight years, because he didn’t think he was ready.
“I wanted to be prepared in every single way possible. I wanted to bring something that no one had,” he said.
In August of 2013, Wright stepped up to bat, drove to Austin, and auditioned. He made it past preliminary audition rounds, and all the way to the celebrity judges.
"I felt like I was just very calm, cool, collected, but on the inside I was so scared. I was terrified about what they were going to say to me," Wright exclaimed.
But in the end Wright let his talent speak for itself, by the end of the audition, he earned a ride to Hollywood.
“It was one of those things where you just couldn’t believe it happened...it was just so surreal," he said.
Wright’s dreams came true before his eyes, but little did he know, the darkest chapter of his life was about to begin.
On November 7, 2013, weeks after his audition, Wright’s brother, 28-year-old Alfred Wright went missing.
Alfred, a father of 2 and physical therapist, was on his way to treat a patient when his truck broke down near a liquor store in Hemphill, TX, just 45 minutes north of Jasper.
A gas station attendant last saw him in the parking lot of the store, running into a nearby wooded area.
Savion’s sister called him with the news while he was at the Baylor vs. OU football game.
“My sister called me and says ‘Alfred is missing right now and pray that we find him, we don't know where he is’,” Wright said.
“I was like, ‘wait, what?’”
Deputies from the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office called off searching for Alfred when they walked through the wooded areas and fields near the liquor store where his truck was found for more than 3 days, yet found nothing.
On November 25, Alfred’s family went searching for him one last time, to their surprise, they found his body in a field that Sabine County Sheriff’s Deputies supposedly searched.
Alfred was found stripped down to his boxers with his throat cut, an ear missing, his tongue cut out, and his front teeth knocked in. His cellphone was tucked into his sock, and a dime was left near his body.
Savion crumbled when he learned of his brother’s death.
"For me it was like, I just lost a hero and someone I looked up to, it was hard,” Wright said.
At his brother’s funeral, Wright said goodbye by singing a song he wrote titled “Breathing Underwater.”
“The last four verses of that song are, ‘close your eyes and you will see, the beauty of your belief, in the solace there is hope, no more trying to stay afloat,’” Wright said.
"Those lyrics help me with his death because it made me feel like God was using my music to help me."
Mystery still surrounds the death of Alfred Wright. After he was found, an initial autopsy showed that cocaine, meth, and amphetamines were found in his body.
But his cause of death was strangely ruled accidental, due to “combined drug intoxication.”
The Wright family hired their own pathologist who performed a separate autopsy on Alfred’s body that determined he died of severe trauma to the neck and head.
The Texas Rangers, FBI, and The Department of Justice are now investigating Alfred’s murder.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Sabine County District Attorney turned over all future investigations and possible prosecutions involving Wright's death to the Texas Attorney General's Office.
In California, Savion says he tries to block all the negatives out. He moves forward competing in American Idol with an angel on his shoulder, and a reason to win that is stronger than ever before.
“Alfred is my guardian angel now, and he'll always be looking out for me," Wright said.