Update: David Francisco's next project will be a cycling event to raise money for spinal cord injury research and MusiCares. He is still seeking more music industry professionals to join him on the ride. Learn more at DFRideForHope.com.


David Platillero

Last night on “American Idol” a young man brought judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan to their feet and Katy Perry to tears, as he had once been paralyzed from the waist down after being hit by a car. Pollstar has been following the incredible recovery story of David Francisco (born David Platillero) for years.

The singer/songwriter/producer, who is the son of EventBooking’s John Platillero, was embarking on a career in the music industry when he was hit by a distracted driver in April 2016.

Money was raised to help with his recovery through a YouCaring account and he maintained a recovery journal throughout his rehabilitation as he slowly regained partial use of his legs.

Last year in October Francisco used just his forearm crutches to walk across the stage of his graduation ceremony at the Blackbird Academy, where he got a degree in electrical engineering. Since the accident he has performed with Martina McBride and Steven Curtis Chapman and had actually already played guitar with Perry before his turn on "Idol."

The next project for the artist is a cross-country bike ride with other music industry professionals to raise money for spinal cord injury research and MusiCares, which paid his rent after he returned to his studies after the accident.

“You know, when you hit bottom, anything and everything that comes back, whether in his physical recovery, emotional recovery, you’re excited about,” John Platillero told Pollstar. “How much more are we excited that not only has he gained a lot of that back, but he’s fallen in love, he’s gotten married. … I can’t even describe how overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness my wife and I are about the way he’s recovered and the opportunities beyond that.”

The ride will consist of 12 days with six fellow riders, with livestreamed acoustic performances in the cities he stops in along the way, Platillero said. The young artist is still looking for more music industry professionals who would be willing to join him on the ride, and more information is available at DFRideForHope.com.

What Perry said touched her most about the performance was his relationship with his fiancée Kristi Platillero,  who stood in the wings while he played his song. The two have since married.