David James Archuleta was born on December 28, 1990, in Miami, Florida. David was a student at Murray High School in Salt Lake County, Utah, when he competed and won second place in the American Idol competition, season 7. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). His clear and beautiful singing voice, plus his emotional connection with the audience, coupled with his refreshing modesty and innocence, have won him fans nationwide.
David was born on Dec. 28, 1990, to Jeff and Lupe Archuleta in North Miami, Florida. Both of David's parents are musicians—his father is a jazz musician, and his mother, who is from Honduras, is a singer. Because of his mother's Latino heritage, David grew up listening to Latino music, as well as jazz music from his father's collection. David began singing at age 6 and has had professional training on and off. He suffered from partial vocal chord paralysis at one point but avoided surgery. David plays the piano and sometimes accompanies his own vocals.
David participated in the Utah Talent Competition at age 10. He received a standing ovation, and won the kids' division. This led to Archuleta competing on Star Search, appearances on The Jenny Jones Show and CBS' The Early Show as well as meeting the finalists from American Idol's first season, for whom he performed a spontaneous a-cappella rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls. In 2003, at the age of 12, Archuleta participated in the televised singing competition, Star Search, winning the grand prize. David entered the American Idol tryouts in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium, held on July 30 & July 31, 2007.
On his American Idol "Fast Facts" page, David cites musical influences as: Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin and Bryan Adams. When asked to list his top pop artists, he cites; Natasha Bedingfield, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams and Kirk Franklin. He also cites Tamyra Gray and Elliott Yamin as his favorite former American Idol contestants. Like Yamin and another singer he admires, John Mayer, Archuleta aspires to infuse his pop selections with a soulful vibe.
The American Idol Competition
Before American Idol, he auditioned for "Star Search". David was on several episodes, and won the Junior category. When he was invited back the next year, his parents were concerned that he may have a medical condition that affected his voice. An ENT doctor diagnosed David with vocal paralysis. His options were given to him: surgery or vocal therapy. After intense vocal therapy, and a couple years of frustration and patience, their efforts worked. He could sing again.
David quit his job (which he was looking forward to) working at a local amphitheater in Murray, Utah, in order to audition for American Idol. Jeff, David's father, took him to San Diego to audition. He won over fans and the judges with his humility, musicality, and vocal talent. He lost the title to David Cook, but has enjoyed an extremely successful first year of his professional career as a popular singer.
David impressed the American Idol judges from his first audition (among 100,000 who tried out), and it wasn't long before the judges were predicting that he'd have a place in the finals or go on to win. David's young age and small stature were constantly commented upon, but his singing ability brought the audience to their feet and the judges to tears. At the end, the American Idol competition, seventh season, came down to two Davids—David Archuleta ("Archie") and David Cook ("Cookie), a 25 year old rocker with sincerity and kindness to match his musical polish. The finale, staged on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, May 20 and 21, 2008, was the largest and flashiest in American Idol history, with cheering fans filling the spacious and glitzy Nokia Theater in L.A., and guest artists from the top names in the business performing with the top twelve competitors. The final vote tallied at 97.5 million, and David Cook took the title, winning by about 12 million votes.
David Archuleta began receiving offers to launch his professional career the second the curtain fell on the competition. His gorgeous, silvery voice and youthful innocence have won the hearts of Americans and many fans around the world.
A Record Deal
David has been signed to 19 Recordings/Jive Records. While little David is currently preparing with the rest of the top 10 finalists for their upcoming tour, his first album is expected to be released later this year.
Simon Fuller, AMERICAN IDOL creator and 19 Entertainment Label Group founder, has already helped the 17-year-old Archuleta get three songs into the Hot 100 for early June, 2008: his cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" at number 36, his rendition of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and his finale song, "In This Moment."
David has enjoyed an extremely successful first year of his professional career as a popular singer. Three of David's songs hit the Billboard Hot 100. His single, "Crush", was number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for "Crush" was as clean as a video can get, depicting clean-cut teens at a cabin, playing parlor games. Still, it was voted #1 music video on a popular TV show.
By 2009 David wasn't spending much time in his home town of Murray, Utah. He filmed a Thanksgiving special for November, 2009, and is either touring or working in Los Angeles. He's had to work with the demands of fame as well as the demands of a busy career that requires him to constantly push himself. During the holidays of 2009, he released a Christmas album.
David sings a Christmas song with his mom:
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More at MormonMusic.org
- About David's Christmas Album, Winter 2009
- "And the Winner is David"--Everything you wanted to know about David in one news article, including comments from his voice coach and professionals in the business
- Video of David singing "The Long and Winding Road"
- Video of David singing to the American Idol, season 1, contestants
- Video of David singing "Imagine"
- Video of David singing "Shop Around"
- Video of David singing "When You Believe"
- Video of David singing "Think of Me"
- Video of David singing "Love Me Tender"
- Video of David singing "Stand by Me"
- Video of David singing "The Long and Winding Road"
- Video of David singing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" at the American Idol Finale
- Video of David singing "Imagine" at the American Idol Finale
- Video of David singing "Hero" with David Cook at the American Idol finale
- David Archuleta's official website
- American Idol:Introducing David Archuleta
- David HQ
- All about Mormon Youth
- A PDF edition of the booklet describing the standards David lives by
- The Mormon Church's official website
- Everything you wanted to know about Mormons but were afraid to ask