Calling all prospective American Idols! The eyes (and ears) of the judges are upon the best voices in Texas to find the next American Idol. This season (American Idol Season 13) , Austin is the only Texas stop, which means the Frank Erwin Center will be filled with talented voices from the corners of the Lone Star State and beyond. Read below to learn more about notable Texans who have competed in past seasons and don’t miss out when American Idol searches for the next superstar Aug. 7 at the Frank Erwin Center!
Kelly Clarkson – Burleson, Texas
In the Fort Worth suburb of Burleson, a young pop star waited for her dream to become reality. Kelly Clarkson was discovered by her middle school choir teacher after she heard Clarkson singing in the hallways. With no prior training, Clarkson was invited to join the school choir where she excelled. “I knew that I would make a living at this since a seventh-grade assembly,” Clarkson said about the pivotal moment. After graduating from Burleson High School, Clarkson moved to Hollywood to pursue her music career, even appearing as an extra in shows like “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” to support herself. Disaster struck when a fire burned down her apartment and forced her to move back home, but opportunity came calling when the inaugural American Idol audition rolled into Dallas. Clarkson wowed the judges with “At Last” by the late Etta James, receiving her golden ticket back to Hollywood. Just a few whirlwind months later, Clarkson was crowned the first American Idol, and that was only the beginning. Since then, Clarkson has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, has won three Grammy Awards and has toured around the world. It all started with one audition that changed Kelly Clarkson’s life forever.
Jason Castro – Rowlett, Texas
American Idol finalist Jason Castro bucks the typical Texas trend. Adorned with dreadlocks and his acoustic guitar, Castro grew up in the Garland suburb of Rowlett and was a student at Texas A&M University when he auditioned for American Idol in 2008. His rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was a landmark moment in Idol’s seventh season, catapulting Jeff Buckley’s version to the top spot on the iTunes singles chart. Castro showcased his musical versatility throughout the season, singing in English, Spanish and French and playing the ukulele while singing Judy Garland’s classic “Over the Rainbow.” Castro finished as a Top 4 finalist and has since released two albums, ventured into acting and toured around the country.
Casey James – Fort Worth, Texas
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cory Collinge saved Casey James’ life following a motorcycle accident that left the 21-year-old musician with a broken wrist and femur. Doctors said the broken wrist would prevent James from ever playing guitar again, but James beat the odds and regained his old guitar skills. Little did James know he would beat the odds again by finishing in the Top 3 on the ninth season of American Idol. James earned his ticket to Hollywood by singing John Mayer’s “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” impressing the judges with his vocal range and power. During Idol’s hometown visits, James presented Dr. Collinge with a signed black electric guitar and told him, “thank you for saving my life.” The rollercoaster ride to stardom has many unexpected turns, and Casey James proves that when the valleys look bleak, the next peak is just around the corner.
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