David Roland Cook (born December 20, 1982) is an American rock singer-songwriter, who rose to fame after winning the seventh season of the reality television show American Idol. Prior to Idol he released an album entitled Analog Heart, and his post-Idol self-titled album, produced by Grammy-winning producer Rob Cavallo, was released on November 18, 2008 and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA. His second major-label album This Loud Morning was released on June 28, 2011.
Cook was born in Houston, Texas, and was raised in Blue Springs, Missouri. His parents are Beth (née Frye) and Stan Cook. He is the middle of three brothers. Adam is the oldest, and Andrew is the youngest. David's eldest brother, Adam, battled brain cancer for 11 years until his death on May 2, 2009.
Cook's interest in music began early in life. He began singing in second grade, when his elementary school music teacher gave him a solo in a school choir performance. He proceeded to perform in virtually every Christmas and PTA program. He received his first guitar, a Fender Stratocaster, at the age of 12. He also participated in choir and drama programs in middle school and high school. At Blue Springs South High School, he performed in musicals, including The Music Man, West Side Story, and Singin' in the Rain. In addition to this, he was an active member in the Blue Springs South High School National Forensics League (or NFL), where he qualified for the national tournament twice for duo interpretation, an event that relies on performance and interpretation of a literary work.
He was also an avid baseball player during high school. After losing interest in the sport due to injury, he focused more on music. He earned a theater scholarship to the University of Central Missouri, but he abandoned theater after two semesters, graduating from the school in 2006 with a degree in graphic design. While in college, he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. After his college graduation, he relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to pursue a career in music, telling his family, "I just want to give myself until I'm 26 years old to get a job."
His musical influences include Our Lady Peace, Alice in Chains, Big Wreck, Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, Switchfoot, Bon Jovi and Collective Soul. Immediately after winning American Idol, Cook was asked backstage by Entertainment Weekly who his top five favorite bands were. Our Lady Peace and Big Wreck were on this short list, as well as the Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and 8stops7.
- Main article: Season 7
Cook originally did not plan to try out for the show. He came to the auditions initially to support his younger brother Andrew (who did not make it to Hollywood) and then, at his brother's urging, David tried out himself. Cook auditioned for American Idol in Nebraska, performing Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer." For his first Hollywood audition, Cook performed "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. On the second song in Hollywood, he sang "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. Cook took advantage of the decision to allow contestants to play musical instruments. Besides his Hollywood audition, he also accompanied himself on electric guitar for his performances of "All Right Now," "Hello," "Day Tripper," "I'm Alive," "Baba O'Riley," "Dare You to Move," and "Dream Big," and on acoustic guitar for "Little Sparrow," "All I Really Need Is You," and "The World I Know." His white, left-handed Gibson Les Paul electric guitar has the letters "AC" on it; as Cook told TV Guide, "I have two brothers, Adam and Andrew. So, because of superstition, I put their initials on everything growing up." Since the Top 12 week, he also wore (and continues to wear) an orange wristband to support a 7-year-old fan, Lindsey Rose, with leukemia.Cook's performance of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" was considered by some to be a poorly done mockery of an excellent song even though many consider it to be one of his best performances. Another of Cook's performances, The Beatles' "Day Tripper", was credited to Whitesnake. Seattle-based band Doxology has claimed that Cook's performance of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" was based on a version the band recorded over a year ago. On April 1, before performing his self-arranged rendition of Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow" on American Idol, Cook responded to Ryan Seacrest in the interview session, revealing that his performance of "Eleanor Rigby" was based on Neil Zaza's and Doxology's versions. He also reiterated the credits of Whitesnake and Chris Cornell. Despite the controversy, critics praised Cook for choosing versions of songs that fit his vocal style. Cook's arrangements of "Hello," "Little Sparrow," "Always Be My Baby," "All I Really Need Is You," "Baba O'Riley," "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" were original arrangements, and his rendition of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" was also highly praised with judge Paula Abdul saying that his version of the song could be on a movie soundtrack.
Cook won the seventh season of American Idol on May 21, 2008, receiving 56% of the votes, with 12 million votes over David Archuleta as the runner-up. Cook then sang "The Time of My Life", the winning song of the 2008 American Idol Songwriter's Competition. In the final tally, Archuleta received 44 percent of the votes. During the finale show, identical commercials featuring Cook and fellow finalist Archuleta mimicked the Tom Cruise scene from Risky Business where he dances in his underwear playing an air guitar; they were promoting the game franchise Guitar Hero.
Performances and ResultsEdit
|Week #||Song choice||Result|
|Audition||"Livin' On A Prayer"||Advanced|
|Hollywood||"(Everything I Do) I Do It for You"||Advanced|
|Top 50||"I'll Be"||Advanced|
|Top 24 (12 Men)||"Happy Together"||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 Men)||"All Right Now"||Safe|
|Top 16 (8 Men)||"Hello"||Safe|
|Top 12||"Eleanor Rigby"||Safe|
|Top 11||"Day Tripper"||Safe|
|Top 10||"Billie Jean"||Safe|
|Top 9||"Little Sparrow"||Safe|
|Top 7||"Always Be My Baby"||Safe|
|Top 6||"The Music of the Night"||Safe|
|Top 5||"All I Really Need Is You"||Safe|
|Top 4||"Hungry Like the Wolf"|
|Top 3||"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"|
"Dare You to Move"
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
|Finale||"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"|
"Dream Big (David Cook song)|Dream Big"
"The World I Know"
Post-Idol CareerEditFor the Billboard chart week ending May 25, 2008, a week following Cook's American Idol victory, Cook broke several Billboard chart records. Most notable was his record shattering feat of having eleven songs debut on the Hot 100 that week, beating the previous record set by Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) in 2006 when she had six songs debut on the chart. Cook's first single, "The Time of My Life" led the pack, debuting at #3 on the Hot 100. Cook's eleven charting songs also gave him the most songs by one artist on the Hot 100 of any week in the Nielsen SoundScan era (which began in 1991), and the most of any era since The Beatles placed 14 songs on the chart the week of April 11, 1964. In addition, that same week Cook also broke the record for the most debuts on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart, where he placed 14 debut entries, the record of which was previously six set by Bon Jovi in 2007. Cook's 17 entries had a combined total of 944,000 digital downloads in the first week of selling. The song also reached #61 in the UK due to downloads alone.
Cook has also signed an endorsement deal with Skechers that will run through December 2009.
At the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, Cook won the Best Reality/Variety Star award, alongside Lauren Conrad of The Hills.
Cook's photo is also featured on the cover of The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2009, along with President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain.
David Cook (2008-2011)Edit
Cook worked with Espionage, Ed Roland (Collective Soul), Zac Maloy (The Nixons), Jason Wade (Lifehouse), Neal Tiemann (MWK) , Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra), Chantal Kreviazuk, and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) on his self-titled, major label debut album. The album was produced by Rob Cavallo. On Ryan Seacrest's morning show On Air of KIIS-FM on September 5, 2008, the singer revealed that the CD release date would be November 18, 2008.
Cook announced via a blog on his myspace page that two of his former bandmates from Midwest Kings (MWK) joined his band with Neal Tiemann as lead guitar player along with Andy Skib as rhythm guitar and keyboard player. Cook's band, which includes drummer Kyle Peek & bassiest Monty Anderson, is called the Anthemic.
The first single released from the album, "Light On" was announced on Cook's official site and debuted on September 23, 2008. By the week of October 10, 2008, the song had reached no. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
His debut album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association for America (RIAA) for sales exceeding one-million units in January 2009. He was presented with his plaque while recording a performance that was aired during the April 1st, 2009 episode of American Idol.
His second music video, "Come Back to Me", was released on April 4, 2009, as a part of a dual-release in which his single "Bar-ba-sol" was released to radio stations as well.
The Declaration TourEditIn January 2009, Cook announced he would be embarking on a national tour in February. On January 23, 2009, the dates for Cook's Declaration Tour were announced. The tour would kick off on February 13, 2009 in Tallahassee Florida, and end in West Palm Beach, FL on May 2, 2009. The tour will hit college campuses and other venues. The tour, which was later expanded due to the success of the album as well as a 90% sellout rate at a majority of the venues, ended in November 2009.
Tour with Gavin DeGrawEdit
On August 25, 2011 Cook confirmed on Twitter that he and fellow singer Gavin DeGraw would be co-headlining a tour that would start in fall 2011. DeGraw confirmed it himself in an interview with 96.5 TIC in Hartford, Connecticut. The tour kicked off on October 9, 2011 at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania and ended November 10, 2011 in Athens, Georgia. Cook did manage to squeeze in a few solo shows of his own during this time.
Cook appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 1, 2008, where he performed "Light On" and debuted the track "Declaration".
Cook appeared at the 2008 Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Awards as a guest of Mary Steenburgen to surprise honoree Hillary Clinton, a fan of American Idol. He sang one of Clinton's favorite songs, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", which he also sang during the Top 3 week on Idol.
Cook performed on the American Music Red Carpet Live November 23, 2008, performing "Light On" and "Declaration."
In June, Cook performed the Star-Spangled Banner at Game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. Cook also performed with his brother Andrew during the opening weekend of the 2008 NFL season at a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.
Cook started off 2009 performing songs from his debut album for the troops during a USO tour, where he was able to visit seven bases.
On February 12, 2009, Cook appeared on the morning news program, Good Morning America and talked about Walt Disney World Resort's new attraction, The American Idol Experience. He performed "Light On" and took the stage once again to perform "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac with fellow American Idol winner Carrie Underwood. He and all the other six winners received a mic-shaped statue from the creator of the franchise, Simon Fuller to honour them for winning the competition.
Cook will perform at Tiger Jam 2012 along with Bon Jovi and others at Tiger Jam 2012 on April 28, 2012. He will also premiere his new single, "The Last Song I'll Write For You", on American Idol on May 10, 2012.
This Loud Morning (2011-2012)EditCook is currently at work on his second album, now called This Loud Morning, which will be released on June 28, 2011. The first single from the album, called "The Last Goodbye", was released to digital retailers such as iTunes on April 19, 2011.
Cook also sang the elimination song for season 10 of Idol: his rendition of Simple Minds' 1985 hit "Don't You (Forget About Me"), which had previously been covered by his friend and fellow season 7 alum Michael Johns. The song was revealed on his official YouTube channel on March 3, 2011. The single became availible for download on iTunes & other digital retailers on March 8, 2011. Another song off of This Loud Morning, "We Believe", was used in a recent promo commercial for season 11 of American Idol. The album's second single, "Fade Into Me", was released on October 10, 2011.
This Loud Morning, released on June 28, 2011, debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200, selling 46,000 copies in its first week. The album has sold 130,000 copies as of June 2012.
This Quiet Night (2012-2013)Edit
On February 7, 2012, this EP, which was made availble when This Loud Morning was availble for pre-ordering on his offical website, was exclusively released at WalMart. The EP contains acoustic versions of five songs featured on Cook's album This Loud Morning. This Quiet Night was later released on iTunes and other digital retailers on March 30, 2012.
No longer with RCA and new singleEdit
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter's Shirley Halperin, Cook admitted that he was no longer signed to RCA Records and was releasing his newest single, "The Last Song I'll Write For You", independently. Cook later performed the song on Idol's May 10, 2012 results show. He's working on a third album.
"Laying Me Low"EditCook's newest single, "Laying Me Low", was released on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers on April 30, 2013 via XIX Recordings, the label of Idol creator Simon Fuller. Cook performed the song on American Idol's top 3 results show on May 2, 2013.
In July 2013, Cook revealed that the rock band Hinder had asked him if he would be interested in being that band's lead singer due to Austin Winkler, the band's lead singer since it was formed in 2001, entering rehab for the second time. Cook opted not to take the offer, deciding to continue working on his own music.
Mentoring on IdolEdit
On April 9, 2014, Cook returned to the show to mentor the top 8 during "Songs from the '80s" week. His mentoring was so well received by the public that many started calling for Cook to replace Randy Jackson, who many feel has done nothing to help the contestants.
"Wait For Me"Edit
On November 4, 2014, Cook announced that his newest single, "Wait For Me", would be released on November 17, 2014.
New publishing deal and Digital VeinEditOn March 24, 2015, Cook announced that he had signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell, the music publishing arm of the Warner Music Group. His fourth album, Digital Vein, was released on September 18, 2015 through his own label, Analog Heart Music. It debuted at number 35 on the Billboard 200. He also returned to Idol where he got to sing his hit, "Light On", with season 15 contestant Olivia Rox on February 18, 2016.
Chromance and Kinky Boots Edit
Cook released his first EP, Chromance, on February 16, 2018. It features the single, "Gimme Heartbreak". The day before the EP's release, it was announced that Cook would be making his Broadway debut as Charlie Price in a revival of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, starting on April 3, 2018 and will play a limited run through May 5, 2018.
In May 2008, Cook asked out Season 2 American Idol alum Kimberly Caldwell while on the red carpet before the show's seventh season finale. During a radio interview with XL 106.7 on October 13, 2008, Cook confirmed that he and Caldwell were "still seeing each other." In a November 2008 interview with PEOPLE magazine, Cook said his relationship with Caldwell was a "nice break from the chaos" of post-Idol fame. Cook debunked rumors of an engagement to Caldwell in a radio interview on December 12, 2008, saying "I've never even been to Tiffany's" (per Star magazine's reports that Cook had gone into the store and purchased a $54,000, 2-carat diamond ring). They ended their relationship in December 2008.
Cook married his longtime girlfriend, Racheal Stump, on June 20, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. The marriage was first reported by Billboard in October 2015 after pictures came out of Cook wearing a wedding ring at various gigs he was performing at.
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
(Music recording sales certification|sales threshold)
Analog Heart *Released: May 6, 2006 *Label: self-released
|2008||David Cook (album) *Released: November 18, 2008 *Label: RCA Records/19 Recordings|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart or not released.|
|David Cook · David Archuleta · Syesha Mercado · Jason Castro · Brooke White · Carly Smithson · Kristy Lee Cook · Michael Johns · Ramiele Malubay · Chikezie · Amanda Overmyer · David Hernandez|
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