Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/ WireImage
Gabourey Sidibe's overnight transformation from working-class Harlem teen to Oscar-nominated actress has inspired dreamers everywhere -- including Sidibe's own mother. Alice Tan Ripley, an R&B singer who makes her living singing in New York City subway stations, has just auditioned for the NBC reality-show competition America's Got Talent. Although she doesn't know if she made the cut, Ripley believes she's got a fighting chance at the million-dollar grand prize.
"The judges knew who I was, and the audience really supported me, so I think that I can make it through to the next stage," the singer told RadarOnline. "I've been told not to say too much though... I better not say anything else in case I get in trouble!"
According to Radar's sources, producers of America's Got Talent are hoping that Ripley will become the American version of Susan Boyle, who traded her humble beginnings for a successful singing career on Britain's Got Talent. There are a few differences: Ripley already has a fan following. She's also had brushes with fame: she claims she was offered the role of the mother in Precious (ultimately played by Mo'Nique) before passing the script on to her daughter. And unlike Boyle, Ripley is already a professional singer -- people just don't see her perform without swiping a subway pass first.
If she's half as charming as her daughter, we'll be rooting for her. Check out a clip of Ripley's subway crooning below. We think she's got the pipes to win -- but it's really up to Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan, new judge Howie Mandel and the viewers at home. The fifth season of America's Got Talent premieres on June 1.
Do you think Gabourey Sidibe's mom is the next Susan Boyle? Chime in below!