Nick Townsend loves to sing, but he also has a message he wants to share.

After losing both of his brothers to suicide last year, the Nebraska native wishes to deliver hope and perhaps a little help to those who tune in to see him this season on “American Idol.”

Townsend, in fact, will appear on the premiere of the 17th season of “Idol” at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC, and the Tekamah native is using the huge platform to talk about suicide and depression.

“My brothers would want me to keep pursuing my dream,” he said. “They’d be really proud that I’m here.”

You might have already heard part of his story. Townsend has been featured heavily on “American Idol” commercials and promos.

One spot that aired during the Oscars telecast shows Townsend singing Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” alongside a group of fellow contestants. Another shows a portion of his appearance on Sunday night’s episode.

When he stepped in front of judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, Townsend sang “Where You’re At” by Allen Stone.

He also talked about his brothers, Zack and Matt.

“I want to help as many people as I can ... being able to give them hope or being able to help,” Townsend said. “Not many people have the platform of a national television show. I want to be able to bring awareness. I want people to hear my brothers’ story.”

His parents, Leroy and Liz, accompanied Townsend to his audition and also appear on the episode, parts of which were filmed in Nebraska.

Townsend is not the only Nebraskan who auditioned for this season of “Idol.” Grace Giebler, 17, attends Gretna High School and sings in the Blues Society of Omaha’s Us and Them band. She performed in front of the famous judges late last year, Giebler said on Twitter.

Giebler’s “Idol” status is not known, but producers clearly showed their hand by promoting Townsend in ads for the show.

For Townsend, appearing on “American Idol” is the culmination of an obsession with performing.

Townsend always sang as a child, but he never performed in a formal setting.

Growing up in Tekamah, Townsend never saw many live performances. Then, during high school, he attended a show by The Young Americans touring group.

He was enthralled.

“I want to do that,” Townsend said.

Then and there, Townsend decided he wanted to sing. After graduating from Tekamah-Herman High School in 2011, he applied to and was accepted to the choral group’s performing arts college.

Now living in Los Angeles, he has performed all over the world and was a contestant on two seasons of “The Voice.” By day, he does freelance production work.

Townsend traveled to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to audition for “Idol,” and he was called back to audition for the main judges.

“It was cool to be able to meet the judges. Having their insight and input on my performance and my voice was a huge way to build my confidence,” he said. “It felt like a dream. This is so cool. I’ve met a ton of people in the industry, but I’ve never been able to share my talent and my passion with them.”

Though he couldn’t reveal his fate on Sunday’s episode, he will be watching the episode, and his family, who still live in Tekamah, will be watching as well.

Townsend knows that other friends and family in Nebraska will be tuning in, too. Since appearing in multiple “Idol” promos, Townsend has heard from a few.

“My phone is blowing up every 10 minutes,” he said. “ ‘I saw you on TV!’ ”