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South Asian American vies for top 7 on American Idol Sunday

Views from the Edge

A Nepalese American from Wichita, Kansas who’s into country and reggae, will compete for the top 7 of American Idol Sunday.

Arthur Gunn will join Filipino American Francisco Martin of Daly City, CA who we featured this past Monday.

Gunn, whose birth name is Dibesh Pokharel, was born in Kathmandu, Nepal and moved with his parents to Wichita five years ago so his sisters could attend school. He performed in coffee shops in Wichita before taking his shot on American Idol.

Although he had been singing and playing his guitar since he was a kid in Nepal, it wasn’t until his family moved to Wichita that he was drawn to the country music genre.

He drew praise for his reggae twist on the John Denver classic Country Roads. “You have a hit record there, my friend,” said Richie.

Gunn, 21, is an original, putting his own spin on familiar songs and making the songs his own. After his audition song, Bryan asked him if he wanted to open for his upcoming concert?

Earlier in the singing competition, Richie went on to encourage the singer: “This is me talking to you and you have no idea what this journey is going to for you. You are the story we need to tell and welcome to the world.”
The judges used their save to advance Makayla Phillips into the next round, meaning there will be 11 competing for seven slots next Sunday.

American Idol can be seen on ABC, 8 p.m. on Sundays.

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