Christopher Adam Daughtry (born December 26, 1979 in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, United States) is a Grammy nominated American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter who is currently the lead singer of the band Daughtry. He was the fourth-place finalist on the highly publicized fifth season of American Idol, eliminated from the competition on May 10, 2006.
After his fallout from Idol, he was given a record deal by RCA Records, along with 19 Entertainment. His band's self-titled debut album sold more than 1 million copies after just 5 weeks of release, becoming the fastest selling debut rock album in history. In its ninth week of release, the album reached number one on the Billboard charts. Daughtry is the fourth most successful American Idol contestant in the history of the show, in terms of record sales, behind Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Clay Aiken. He is the most successful contestant from his season and the most successful non-winner or non-runner up.
Christopher Adam Daughtry was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He was raised in Lasker, North Carolina until he was 14. His parents, Pete and Sandra Daughtry, reside in Palmyra, Virginia, where Daughtry grew up before he relocated to McLeansville, North Carolina outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. His brother, Kenneth, resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.
At age 16, Daughtry started taking singing seriously as a professional musician. He performed with rock bands during his time in high school. Musical influences include bands like Bush, Live, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Journey, Bon Jovi, and Fuel. During high school he appeared in two stage productions: The Wiz and Peter Pan. For his first official performance he sang "Achy Breaky Heart" at his grandfather's bar. Daughtry graduated from Fluvanna High School in 1998. Daughtry was working as a Service Advisor at Crown Honda, a car dealership in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the time he auditioned for American Idol.
Daughtry's high school band went by the name of Cadence. He sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar. They produced one album, All Eyes on You (1999), a rare piece that can sometimes be found on eBay.
Daughtry sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for rock bands in Burlington. The band Absent Element consisted of Daughtry on lead vocals and guitar, Mark Perry on lead guitar, Scott Crawford on drums and Ryan Andrews on bass. Absent Element released Uprooted in 2005. This CD contains the songs "Conviction" and "Breakdown", which Daughtry combined and re-recorded as the song "Breakdown" for the Daughtry CD.
In 2005, Daughtry auditioned for the CBS singing contest, Rock Star: INXS. He did not make the cut for the actual filming of the show. Current drummer Joey Barnes was at the same audition and made the cut only to drop out of the running due to disagreements regarding the contract.
Daughtry auditioned for American Idol in Denver, Colorado with The Boxtops' "The Letter"; he was portrayed as a young rocker with Southern and hard rock influences. He passed the audition by a split decision: approved by Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, disapproved by Simon Cowell. Simon felt that Daughtry at that time was too robotic. After being given a Golden Ticket to Hollywood, he performed "The First Cut Is the Deepest", and sang "Emotion" during his trio performance with Ace Young and Bobby Bullard. The song for Daughtry's a cappella performance remains unknown.
Daughtry eventually made it out of the Hollywood Round and into the Top 24. On March 1, 2006, Daughtry's "raw" performance of Fuel's "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" received critical acclaim by all three judges. On March 3, 2006, Jackson stated in an interview that Daughtry had been offered the opportunity to become Fuel's new lead singer, as the band was at the time without a lead singer. At a welcome home party Daughtry said he had declined the offer, but, he said, "he'd still like to work with them somewhere down the road." Daughtry's March 21 performance caused controversy when the apparently original rendition of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line" garnered much praise from the judges. However, viewers noted that the rendition was very similar to a version by Live; however, there was no mention of that in Daughtry's pre-performance interview. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Daughtry defended himself, saying "It wasn't my doing. You say a lot of things in the [pretaped] interview, and when editing gets involved, things get cut out for time constraints. I did mention in my interview that I'm doing a different version from a band I totally respect. The lead singer of Live, Ed Kowalczyk, called me to say, 'Man, don't listen to that.'...It was really cool to get that kind of respect."
Daughtry was in the final four on May 10, 2006, and found himself in the bottom two with Katharine McPhee. When asked by Seacrest who should be leaving, Cowell expressed that he believed that Katharine should be eliminated. Ryan Seacrest then announced that Daughtry was eliminated. Seacrest asked Daughtry if he was surprised. An obviously stunned Daughtry could only utter, "A little, yeah". The media grabbed hold of the surprise elimination and (practically an Idol tradition at this point) there was some controversy regarding the accuracy of the vote count on the night Daughtry was eliminated. The vote-tallying website DialIdol, however, predicted that Daughtry was the lowest vote-getter for the week. In an interview after his elimination, Daughtry said that he thought he got voted off because his fans were "overconfident" that he would be safe, so they did not call and vote.
During the Season 5 finale on May 24, 2006 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, Daughtry performed the song "Mystery" with the band Live. After the show, "Mystery" suddenly went as high as #80 on the iTunes top 100 songs. Live's version of the song was later available for download on the bands MySpace.com profile with Daughtry as backup vocals.
After American IdolEdit
After leaving American Idol, Daughtry traveled the talk show circuit, which has become commonplace for non-winners as American Idol progressed through the years. He made appearances on The Tonight Show, Total Request Live, and The Today Show. He also appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in which he performed "Wanted Dead or Alive". In a later episode of the show in which Ellen interviewed former presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, who were collaborating on the Bush-Clinton Katrina fund, she even jokingly asked if anything could be done about Daughtry's elimination.
For the week of June 10, 2006, Daughtry's cover of "Wanted Dead or Alive" charted at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100, being named the Hot Shot Debut of the week.
On June 7, 2006, a duet version of "Mystery", the song Daughtry performed with Live on the American Idol finale, was released via Live's official website. Daughtry is featured on vocals.
On June 8, 2006, Daughtry made an appearance on the 2006 MTV Movie Awards, where he performed a parody of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" with comedian Jimmy Fallon.
On June 16, 2006, Daughtry made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the "Father's Day Gift Ideas" segment. In this segment, he played a father who took out the trash to a talking garbage can.
TMZ.com featured a video of Daughtry singing Stone Temple Pilots' "Plush" with a busker on the night of the American Idol finale.
On July 10, 2006, it was announced that Daughtry had signed with 19 Entertainment and RCA Records and began working on an album that was to be released in November. It was also announced that, like season 4 rocker Constantine Maroulis, he would be forming his own band. His band was formed under the name Daughtry, after the singer's last name.
Daughtry's debut album was released on November 21, 2006. He reportedly told US Weekly that his album "would not be... pop." The first single off Daughtry, "It's Not Over", was released November 21, 2006.
Daughtry reached number one in Billboard Charts with his debut album. He joins Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, and Ruben Studdard as the only contestants to reach number one in Billboard 200.
On January 21, 2007, he performed The Star-Spangled Banner along with Khris Hand at the NFL's NFC Conference Championship game in Chicago, Illinois.
Beginning on March 14, 2007, on every episode of American Idol's sixth season's results show, Daughtry's song Home, is played every time a participant is knocked out of the competition, as each of the losing contestants are asked to look at their own journeys. Additionally, on the final competition on May 22, 2007, he and his band performed the song live at the end of the show. It also became the song for the eliminating home team for the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
In March, Daughtry performed during the Final Four round of the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
On May 27, Daughtry performed at the 2007 Indianapolis 500.
The song "Crashed" was featured in a Bionicle short movie by Lego to promote their 2007 Bionicle summer sets, however the band was not credited for the music for some time. It was only later that Lego released two versions, with the United States version being Crashed.
On September 8, Daughtry performed before the 2007 Chevy Rock & Roll 400, a NASCAR event.
On September 19, 2007 on ABC, Viva Las Vegas premiered, which was a tribute to Elvis Presley's career in Las Vegas. Daughtry performed an acoustic version of Suspicious Minds.
On November 18, 2007, Daughtry was the winner of multiple awards at the "2007 American Music Awards" (ABC Television). The winning categories were: 1) Pop or Rock: Favorite Album - Daughtry; 2) Adult Contemporary Music: Favorite Artist; 3) Favorite Breakthrough Artist.
On December 6, 2007, Daughtry was nominated for four 50th Annual Grammy Awards: Best Rock Album for Daughtry, Best Rock Song for "It's Not Over", Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for "Home", and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "It's Not Over".
On February 9, 2008, Daughtry made an appearance at the Key Club in West Hollywood, California, where he discussed how he wrote his song "Home" and co-wrote another song.
On February 25, 2008, Daughtry's song "Home" was used as soundtrack to a montage for the Carling Cup Final (Tottenham v Chelsea) on Sky Sports.
Daughtry provided vocals on a Sevendust track entitled The Past on their album Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow. He had previously stated he had become friends with the members of the band.
Daughtry also provides vocals on the Theory of a Deadman song "By The Way", which is featured on their third album Scars & Souvenirs.
On April 8, 2008, Daughtry appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and sang his song "Home" with The African Children's Choir.
On April 9, 2008, a video of Daughtry and his bandmates helping and singing with the people of Uganda was shown on the American Idol special " Idol Gives Back." He sang his song "What About Now", and the people of Uganda sang along with him.
Daughtry appears on the song "Slow Down" on the album Revelation by Christian rock band Third Day. The album was released on July 29, 2008.
Daughtry appeared on the 100th episode of CSI: NY on November 19, 2008.
On May 6, 2009, Daughtry performed "No Surprise", the debut single for his forthcoming album, on American Idol. He wrote the song with Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, Eric Dill and Rune Westberg.
Daughtry's second album, Leave This Town, was released on July 14, 2009. The title was taken from the bridge of one of the songs, September.
Daughtry released "Crawling Back to You", the first single off the band's third album Break The Spell, on September 19, 2011. Break The Spell was released on November 21, 2011. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The band's fourth album, Baptized, was released on November 19, 2013. The album debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200. It features the single, "Waiting for Superman". They also toured with the band 3 Doors Down in summer 2013 before the album's release.
Return to IdolEdit
In 2014, Daughtry, along with season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert, returned to Idol for season 13 to assist judge turned in-house mentor Randy Jackson in mentoring the current crop of contestants. Daughtry confirmed the news of his working with the show on Twitter.
In a segment on the 2006 season of American Idol (Before singing Broken by Seether), Daughtry revealed that he is balding and made the decision to shave his head completely in order to retain an aesthetically pleasing appearance. He has been married to Deanna Robertson since November 2000. He has four children: a stepdaughter, Hannah, born July 1998, from his wife's previous marriage, an adopted son, Griffin, born January 2000, & twins, daughter Adalynn Rose & son Noah James, born on November 17, 2010 via surrogate. In a December 2007 interview with Gibson Lifestyle, Daughtry said, "I used to call [my wife] and just quickly throw in the towel. But I’ve found that the less I say and the more I actually listen to her, and just be there without actually being there, is the best thing I can do. As a man, I always feel like I need to say something. Sometimes I have to stop myself because all I want to do is call and tell her about how much awesome stuff is going on in my life, and, you know, her day is sucking hard. I could write a book on it, I’m serious.”
Daughtry and fellow Idol contestant Ace Young have been friends since they met at the show's Denver auditions and even periodically shared an apartment as finalists. Young said they clicked because they shared similar upbringings and were both "big on family." Ryan Seacrest had also dubbed them "the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon of the season" when the two were placed in the "bottom 2" together upon Young's elimination. In the final episode of the season, a clip of them in a "Best Male Bonding" segment was also shown. Devoted fan alliances of the friendship between Daughtry and Young, referred to as "Chrisace" or "Chrace," have materialized on the Internet.