AMERICAN Idol star Taylor Hicks has described his "near death experience" when the Tennessee tornado ravaged his home.
The singer took shelter in his garage, and said he had a "spiritual" moment when he thought he was going to die.
AT least two deadly tornadoes surged through Tennessee after midnight on Tuesday and ripped through Nashville without warning, killing at least 24 people.
Taylor, 43, recalled it started spiralling in his direction and witnessed debris flying through the air outside his window, saying: "This tornado seemed like it came out of nowhere.
"I remember looking outside my window and there was so much lightning, and then the power went off.
"I could feel the whole house completely shake and I just had to get into the crawl space and I held on. I heard the debris. I heard the train sound. I held on for dear life."
He added: "There for a moment, it’s almost like I went through temporary insanity because it’s such a traumatic experience because you don’t know at that point where the storm is tracking."
But he found that his fear passed, and calm took over his mind.
Taylor told PEOPLE: "You know what’s interesting — the spiritual aspect of going through it alone.
"Everyone goes to heaven alone. You’re standing and waiting to get into the pearly gates but everyone stands alone when doing that."
He continued: "When you’re in a life and death experience it’s a very solace mindset. I think what my mind did during those nine seconds is check out.
"You would almost rather your mind be in a different place than what you’re going through.
"That’s the closest anyone can get to death. I guess the mind prepares you for death and I think that’s what my mind was doing. I just remember saying, ‘Oh God, Oh God.’ I said a prayer.”
When the tornado passed and Taylor emerged, he said that he saw "trees snapped" and his roof was damaged, and he found his patio furniture in a tree three blocks away from his house.
He added: "You stand there alive but then you immediately see within 100 yards there was death.
"That’s where you put things into perspective and you ask ‘What about those that were lost and why you — why did you survive?"
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