Lee DeWyze was born in Mount Prospect, Illinois on April 2, 1986 and was living there at the time he started on American Idol. He has been a musician for most of his life and, at the age of 17, was signed to the independent record label WuLi Records after being discovered while playing guitar and singing at a private house party.
After dropping out of high school (he would eventually earn his GED) Lee worked in a paint store in his hometown. He also formed the Lee DeWyze Band and released a couple albums after signing with WuLi. He also dabbled in a little acting, landing a role in a low budget horror film in 2006 entitled Deadscapes: Broken Road. But the turning point for Lee came in 2009 when he auditioned for the new Idol season, a move that would eventually land him a spot on the American Idol Winners List.
Lee DeWyze Idol Audition
Lee auditioned for Season 9 of American Idol at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois in June of 2009. The show would air from January 12 to May 26, 2010. In his audition Lee performed the song “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers and he was good enough to earn his golden ticket to Hollywood week. You can see his audition, as well as his fellow finalist Crystal Bowersox, in the video below.
Lee was one of 181 contestants competing at the Hollywood Week portion of the show. He sang two solos here, “One Of Us” by Joan Osborne and “You Found Me” by The Fray. The contestant were then narrowed down to 24 for the semi-finals. In the Semi’s, Lee sang the songs “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol in the Top 24, “Lips Of An Angel” by Hinder in the Top 20, and “Fireflies” by Owl City in the Top 16, which got him a spot as one of the 12 American Idol Finalists for 2010.
Lee DeWyze: American Idol Season 9
Like many of the previous Idol finalist that ended up making it to the finale and winning the title, Lee sailed through the finals rounds without too much difficulty. He was never once in the Bottom 2 for the week, so was never in much danger of being eliminated right up until the final 2 contestants. Below are all the songs sung by Lee DeWyze throughout the various rounds of the finals on his way to winning the whole thing.
|Top 12||Rolling Stones||Beast Of Burden||The Rolling Stones|
|Top 11||Billboard #1′s||The Letter||The Box Tops|
|Top 10||R&B/Soul||Treat Her Like A Lady||Cornelius Brothers|
|Top 9.1||Lennon/McCartney||Hey Jude||The Beatles|
|Top 9.2||Elvis||A Little Less Conversation||Elvis Presley|
|Top 7||Inspirational||The Boxer||Simon & Garfunkle|
|Top 6||Shania Twain||You’re Still The One||Shania Twain|
|Top 5||Frank Sinatra||That’s Life||Frank Sinatra|
|Top 4||Cinema||Kiss From A Rose||Seal (Batman)|
|Top 4*||Cinema||Falling Slowly||Once|
|Top 3||Singers Choice||Simple Man||Lynyrd Skynyrd|
|Top 3||Judges’ Choice||Hallelujah||Leonard Cohen|
|Finale||Singers Choice||The Boxer||Simon & Garfunkle|
|Finale||Fuller’s Choice||Everybody Hurts||R.E.M.|
|Finale||Winners Single||Beautiful Day||U2|
*Sung as a duet with Crystal Bowersox
Lee beat out Crystal Bowersox in the finale for the title of 2010 American Idol. You can see the video of the winners announcement and Lee’s final Idol performance below.
Lee DeWyze: Post American Idol Career
Like all the winners of American Idol, Lee was awarded with a record contract following the show. He signed with 19 Entertainment and RCA Records, and released a single of his cover of U2′s Beautiful Day that he performed during the finale show.
Lee released his first post-Idol album in November of 2010 entitled Live It Up, and won the 2010 Teen Choice Award for Male Reality/Variety Star.
Lee DeWyze has toured with the American Idols LIVE Tour, and on his first headlining tour in the summer of 2011.