The show may be over, but American Idols past and present stay in the news. First, a birthday shout out to Diana DeGarmo who turns 23 today. The Georgia native from Season Three started singing professionally at age five. Her Idol faves are Ruben Studdard and Kelly Clarkson. She was 16 when she competed on American Idol.
White Collar DeWyze
You could say he is the guy from the burbs that made it big. Season 9’s winner Lee DeWyze was a competitor that had charisma with a quiet charm and smooth pop vocals. DeWyze also had a story that movies are made of, (and they just might make a movie one day). Blue collar guy who worked at a paint store rises to stardom in a national singing competition. Nice stuff for a movie script, right?
Lee worked at Mount Prospect Paint for six years. But there is more to the story of the paint salesman who won Idol fans votes. According to Forbes.com, Lee worked in finance as a trading floor clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Ryan McGuire, Lee’s boss, said he was a fast learner, buying and selling futures back in 2007 and 2008. He managed to make his “Wall Street” experience fun, often singing with the security guards on the floor. An added bonus: boss McGuire was a drummer and producer at WuLi Records, a Chicago indie label.
The two gigged together and McGuire produced Lee’s albums, “So I’m Told” and “Slumberland,” before the future champion had his run on American Idol.
Things started to slow up with the trading biz and Lee made a move back to the paint store, and music. Thank goodness for that. He went on to the American Idol Chicago audition. The rest is Idol history. Go champ!
Sounds of Summer
We all know that the end of the American Idol season means tour time for the Top Ten. Yes, rehearsals have already started this week for the kick-off debut date of July 1, the American Idol Live! Tour in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Idol’s annual summer event took in a cool $30 million in 2009. Not bad for ten artists who have never seen their name on a marquee at a major venue.
How will the Idol alumni do this summer in a slow economy, hard economic times, and tough competition from the field? Idol support is still strong amongst fans even though the show experienced a decline in viewership for Season 9.
Strategies such as touring together, what Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken are doing help sell more tickets and give people double the show for the buck. Deciding to be an opening act for a big name, rather than headline a tour is another way to ensure ticket sales and avoid cancellations.
Lambert opened his Glam Nation Tour last Friday to awaiting fans in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., and is selling out larger venues. He has added five new dates. (See itinerary here). Other Idol stars will be hitting the road singing across America. Chris Daughtry’s band, Daughtry, Carrie Underwood are headliners with tours this summer. Allison Iraheta gets things started for Adam Lambert. Country band Rascal Flats has Kellie Pickler performing with them and Danny Gokey performs as the opening act for Sugarland. Hot acts, big names.
Enjoy the pop, rock, country sounds of summer. Courtesy of your American Idols performing live on a stage somewhere near you.
Forbes.com, Adamofficial.com, LATimes.com, CBS5.com