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Kristopher Neil " Kris " Allen born June 21, is an American musician, singer and songwriter from Conway, Arkansas , and the winner of the eighth season of American Idol. Prior to Idol , he self-released a album entitled Brand New Shoes. Allen's Idol coronation song, " No Boundaries " and his version of " Heartless " both charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot Allen's post- Idol self-titled album was released on November 17, , by Jive Records.
The album debuted at number eleven on the U. The album's lead single , " Live Like We're Dying ", was released on September 21, , and peaked at number eighteen in the U.
Allen's second major-label album Thank You Camellia was released on May 22, , and the lead single " The Vision of Love " was released March 26, Allen's interest in music began very early. He began playing the viola in elementary school and went on to play the instrument in the Mills University Studies High School orchestra, eventually winning a spot in the Arkansas all-state orchestra.
Allen played publicly for several years before trying out for Idol, even opening for earlier Idol contestant Sean Michel on multiple occasions. He has described his decision to audition for American Idol as a "last hurrah" before giving up his pursuit of a music career. After high school, Allen moved to Conway, Arkansas , to attend the University of Central Arkansas , where he was a business major and a member of Chi Alpha campus ministries.
Kris stated that "If I had not made it through in American Idol, I would have gone back to college and gotten my business degree.
Allen realized during college that he wanted to play music professionally and began trying to write music. He played his first gig at a local bar in downtown Conway during his sophomore year, and he went on to drop out of college in the middle of his junior year to follow his dream of becoming a professional musician. He worked as a shoe salesman at a sporting goods store during the day to make ends meet and continued playing gigs in Little Rock and Fayetteville at night.
Allen auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in Louisville , Kentucky, with his brother Daniel, who did not make it to Hollywood. Only several seconds of his first audition and neither of his Hollywood Week solo performances were shown, although his group performance with White Chocolate including fellow finalist Matt Giraud was aired in its entirety.
Throughout the competition, Allen received many compliments for his folk -inspired interpretations of modern pop songs. He played several instruments during his performances, including the acoustic guitar , the electric guitar , the keyboard, and the piano. His performance of "To Make You Feel My Love" as part of the Top 11 earned praise from the judges, with Simon Cowell commenting, "I am genuinely beginning to think you have a shot of doing well in this competition.
Cowell lauded it as Allen's "best performance so far. While Randy Jackson described it as "pitchy from note one",  Kara DioGuardi declared it "one of your best moments ever. On the second Top 7 show, Allen brought back the guitar for the fourth time and performed an original, acoustic version of "She Works Hard for the Money", complete with bongo drums and the band on stage.
This earned praise from all four judges, with Abdul remarking "There aren't many men who are willing to shop in the women's department. You shopped and found a perfect fit. Cowell agreed and said, "I had written you out of the competition but that has changed after that performance.
After being voted into the Top 3, Allen returned home to Arkansas and his hometown to film the material for the next two American Idol episodes. Allen's homecoming parade was greeted by a crowd estimated to be greater than 20, He accompanied himself on all of these songs with his guitar. During the final results show, he performed a duet with Keith Urban , singing Urban's single " Kiss a Girl ", as well as a series of medleys with his fellow Season 8 contestants.
Nearly million votes were cast during the finale, setting a new world record for a televised singing competition. Unlike the previous season, the winning margin was undisclosed.
Numerous sources, including the Associated Press, claimed that the margin "wasn't even close". Certain commentators labeled the win as an "upset" since runner-up Adam Lambert had received a significant amount of media attention throughout the season and was widely perceived to be the show's front-runner.
After winning Idol , Allen made his Billboard Hot debut with five songs charting within the top His coronation single " No Boundaries " debuted at number 11, followed by "Heartless" at number 16, "Ain't No Sunshine" at number 37, "Apologize" at number 66, and "Falling Slowly" at number Following the performance, which was described as "executed to perfection,"  the announcement was made that Allen had signed a record deal with Jive Records along with fellow finalist Allison Iraheta.
His major label debut was quickly scheduled for a Fall release. Kris Allen was released on November 17, Allen wrote or co-wrote 9 of 12 tracks on the album.
In a break with Idol tradition, Allen chose not to include his coronation single "No Boundaries" on his debut album, choosing instead to record a new version of his cover of "Heartless" as a bonus track.
After its first week of sales, the album debuted at 11 on the Billboard after selling just over 80, copies. On February 19, , Allen traveled to Haiti with the United Nations Foundation in order to raise awareness for the disaster relief efforts there as the UN and other groups continue to rebuild after the earthquake.
Allen made his return to the Idol stage during the February 25th American Idol results show to share footage of his experiences in Haiti and to perform " Let It Be ". This performance was made available for download as a charity single on iTunes after the show.
The second single released from the album was "The Truth" featuring Pat Monahan , the lead singer of the Grammy award-winning rock band Train , who co-wrote the song. He then went on to join a few major tours over the rest of the summer, opening for Barenaked Ladies , Maroon 5 , and Keith Urban between July and September He then opened for Lifehouse during October and November Allen officially revealed that the third single off his album would be "Alright with Me" on October 6, On November 18, , he posted an unofficial music video for the song on his official website to thank his fans for their support.
Following the shutdown, Allen and all other artists previously signed to these three labels has released his recordings on the 19 Recordings and RCA Records labels.
Allen debuted several new songs at an acoustic concert at The Mint in Los Angeles on February 9, The song was co-written by Allen, Nasri , and Adam Messinger , and it is available for download on iTunes and an exclusive version consisting the remix from the Finnish duo Maison and Dragen on Walmart since March 26, It was announced March 29, , that Allen's second album titled, Thank You Camellia , would be released on May 22, Allen auditioned for the lead role in the musical film Rock of Ages , but lost the role to Diego Boneta.
Although Allen was considered to be a better singer than anyone else who had tried out for the role up to that point, he had never auditioned for a film before and has said that he did not feel confident in his acting abilities. In an interview with OK Magazine , Allen said he does not feel that he would have been a good fit for role and currently does not have any further plans to pursue acting.
On September 4, , Allen revealed that he parted ways with 19 Management when his contract expired in May and has signed with new management, Pearl Group Entertainment. The EP was released on December 10, Marie on the piano. The opening act for most of the dates was Jillette Johnson. The tour ended in a sold-out Rams Head in Hanover, Maryland.
On January 8, , Allen entered the recording studio with producer Charlie Peacock to begin recording his third post Idol album at Peacock's studio in Nashville. He performed multiple tracks from the album live acoustically on Yahoo. On August 12, , Allen released Horizons. Allen did a tour of the U. Allen has continued to tour in early , including performing at U. In , he began work on his next studio album. The lead single, "Waves", was released to digital retailers on February 19, alongside pre-orders of the album.
In March , Allen toured for three months in support of the album. In April, he released an EP called Acoustic Tapes which featured songs from throughout his previous albums. In the summer of , he announced work on a full-length holiday album in the summer to be released in the winter the same year. Somethin' About Christmas, was released on November 4, In February , he released an acoustic version of his single "Waves" for Valentine's Day. They premiered a song called "The Death of Mr.
Jones" in addition to doing a StageIt show. On May 20, The band, "The Dames". The song is the first of six songs to be released this year by the band. Allen credits this near-death experience with giving him the ability to write songs as he was finally able to compose his first original song while recuperating from his illness.
He chose to leave behind a brand new guitar for the church to use even though that was the only guitar he owned at the time. Allen is a strong proponent of music education, and since winning Idol , he has become heavily involved with several charitable organizations that promote music education, including the Music Empowers Foundation and Little Kids Rock.
He has stated, "To me, music education is vital to every kid's development, and it can change their lives. I know that if I hadn't had access to music programs in school that I wouldn't be where I am today. In February , Allen traveled to Haiti with the United Nations Foundation to help with relief efforts following the Haiti earthquake.
Allen's humanitarian work has inspired his fans to organize charitable efforts in his honor. Allen married his high school sweetheart Katy O'Connell on September 26, The two began dating back in Allen's junior year of high school. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Pop rock alternative rock acoustic rock blue-eyed soul. Vocals guitar viola piano keyboards. American Idol season 8. Current members Cale Mills — guitar, keyboards, backing vocals —present Chris Torres — bass guitar, percussion, backing vocals —present Andrew St. Marie — keyboards, saxophone, percussion, backing vocals —present Devon Curry — drums, backing vocals —present Former members Andrew DeRoberts — lead guitar, backing vocals — Ryland Steen — drums — Bradley Ackerman — drums, backing vocals — Jones Single  Release Date: May 20, Label: June 9, Label: June 30, Label: The New York Daily News.