Blind American Idol Finalist, Transplant Recipient and Author
Scott MacIntyre Bio
Scott MacIntyre is an acclaimed speaker, singer-songwriter, scholar, and author. Since his introduction into the public eye as the first blind finalist on American Idol, he has inspired audiences throughout North America and beyond with his dynamic speeches on overcoming adversity, achieving goals, and the importance of education.
Blind from birth and a two-time kidney transplant recipient, Scott knows what it means to persevere despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In his autobiographical book By Faith, Not By Sight, Scott writes about how he learned to create opportunity, take risks, and overcome any challenge to realize his goals and dreams. His road to success was anything but easy, and he is living proof that with commitment, diligence, and humility, anything is possible.
Scott was first diagnosed with stage-four kidney failure at nineteen years old, and after becoming extremely ill, he began emergency dialysis.
"The hardest thing for me was not having enough strength to play the piano and sing anymore," says Scott. "It felt like my dreams were dying, but still I held on to hope."
After a year on dialysis, his college piano teacher's wife donated her kidney to Scott and saved his life. It was less than a year later that he auditioned for American Idol.
"Without that gift of life, I never would have been on American Idol, married my wife Christina, or been able to share my story with others. It was a very humbling experience to say the least."
That kidney transplant lasted for eight years, then in September 2014, Scott was put back on the transplant waiting list for a deceased-donor kidney. Several months later, an anonymous living donor stepped forward and offered to undergo compatibility testing after hearing about Scott's need on the radio.
In June 2015, Scott underwent his second successful kidney transplant and has since made a full recovery. The following year, Scott and his wife Christina welcomed their first baby into the world - Christian Scott MacIntyre, born September of 2016.
"When I was in kidney failure, we couldn't have kids. So when my donor gave me the gift of life she not only saved my life but also allowed us to create a new life."
Their story is recounted in the new documentary film, I Am Hope: Scott MacIntyre's Inspirational Transplant Journey.
As an accomplished pianist, Scott's heartfelt songs and powerful voice take his audiences on an emotional journey of hardship and hope, entreating listeners that no matter what life brings their way, life is always worth living to the fullest.
Scott has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Regis and Kelly, the Today Show, Canada AM, Larry King Live, Huckabee, and many other programs. In 2010, Scott was honored by Dr. Robert and Arvella Schuller with the annual award for "promoting positive values in the media." In 2012, he partnered with Donate Life America and FOX to launch a national PSA for organ, eye, and tissue donation. He wrote a song for the PSA entitled "I Am Hope," and it quickly became a theme song for the transplant community. The song was released on Scott's 2014 album Lighthouse.
With a uniquely distinguished academic track record, Scott understands the critical role teachers play in shaping their students' futures. He was admitted into Arizona State University's Barrett Honors College and Herberger College of Fine Arts at 14 years old. In 2005, he received Marshall and UK Fulbright scholarships and was ranked by USA Today as one of the top twenty undergraduate seniors in the nation. He then graduated ASU Summa Cum Laude at nineteen, going on to receive a master's degree overseas in England at Royal Holloway, University of London and the Royal College of Music. He was accepted to both Oxford and Cambridge Universities for further graduate study in the UK before redirecting his energies to his music and speaking career.
Scott is married to his wife Christina who travels with him in support of his career. They live in Franklin, TN with their son Christian.