Jon Peter Lewis (born November 7, 1979 in Lincoln, Nebraska) is an American singer-songwriter who finished in 8th place on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol. He would frequently be referred to by the judges and Ryan Seacrest as simply JPL.
Lewis is now one half of the duo Midas Whale, who competed on season 4 of the NBC singing show The Voice. Their debut album, Sugar House, was released on February 11, 2014.
Lewis lived in various cities across the United States with his roving family before leaving home at the age of 18. He graduated from Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1998. Lewis performed in numerous theatrical productions and was a band member of various rock and roll bands throughout his high school and college years.
At the age of 23, Lewis cashed in his college loans to audition for the third season of American Idol in Honolulu, Hawaii where he sang '"Crazy Love" by Van Morrison. Praised by Simon Cowell for his "very, very good voice," Lewis went on to display an uninhibited stage personality that won the hearts of millions of Idol fans. Simon Cowell later hailed Jon as "the dark horse to win the competition," and Rolling Stone Magazine pegged Jon as a "pick to win," while Elton John praised JPL's voice for his "excellent pitch and phrasing."
Affectionately known as 'JPL' by his fans, Lewis was a member of the third group of semifinalists and performed the Elton John song "Tiny Dancer". After performing "A Little Less Conversation" in the wild card round, JPL was put through as a finalist by audience vote, receiving 22% of all votes cast.
On April 15, 2004 Lewis was voted off in eighth place after a flashy rendition of "Jailhouse Rock" during movie songs week. During the competition, he had displayed a three-octave vocal range and developed a strong fan following. As part of the Top 10, Lewis participated in the 50-city American Idols Live tour in the summer of 2004.
Rather than accepting business offers to use his "Idol" fame to release a quick pop album, Lewis decided to work on his own musical style and create original music. From late 2004 to 2006, Lewis spent the majority of his time composing original music. He has worked closely with music producer Alex Gibson and Henson Recording Studios, among other notable entities in Hollywood. "Turn to Grey" was among the first songs that he wrote; he composed it while on tour with the Idol finalists. Jon wrote part of the song as a homage to Jennifer Hudson after she told him that she loved singing the song around her house.
In 2005, he collaborated with Canadian songwriter/actor James Collins to write and record "It's Christmas," which was released by EMI/Universal in Canada as part of the "Now Christmas 2" album, and went to #13 on the Canadian radio charts in just 2 weeks. In addition, a second original holiday song "California Christmas" was recorded by Jon and released in 2006 for the album "Breaking for the Holidays" by Breaking Records. The upbeat holiday song was called a "Christmas Classic" by Chuck Taylor of Billboard Magazine.
In September 2006, Lewis released his second single containing the songs "If I Go Away" and "Man Like Me" through his independent label, Cockaroo Entertainment. His limited release debut album, "Stories from Hollywood," was released on his 27th birthday, November 7, 2006, making Jon the first Idol finalist to independently release an album of original songs. The album is a collection of energetic rock and roll and intimate acoustic tracks.
Jon's second full-length album, Break the Silence hit the streets July 22, 2008. The album was released through Cockaroo Entertainment in conjunction with Adrenaline Music Group. Chris Garcia, who has worked with Santana and Michelle Branch, Dido and Jewel, produced the album under the guidance of executive producer Don Grierson, a former head of A&R for Capitol and Epic Records involved with Bob Seger, Heart, Duran Duran, Cheap Trick, Celine Dion and Tina Turner. Jon wrote or co-wrote several tracks for the album, and it features such esteemed musicians as guitarist Nick Lashley (Alanis Morissette, Natasha Bedingfeld,) drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Cougar Mellencamp, Indigo Girls) and Blake Mills (Jakob Dylan, Band of Horses.) The CD has received critical praise including a "Critic's Choice" review from Billboard Magazine. It was called "one of the best pop/rock CD's of the year" by Monica Rizzo of People magazine and "Impressive" by Ken Barnes of USA Today. The title track single, hit the top 30 charts on Hot AC radio and is currently 1 of only 50 songs pre-programmed into all of the new iPhones on display at Apple Stores across the country.
Members of JPL's band have included Sky Elobar, Andrew Synowiec, Ian Hendrickson, Craig Macintyre, Stuart Johnson, Blake Mills, and Austin Nicholsen.
Lewis currently lives in Rexburg, Idaho after having lived in Los Angeles for a few years. He has been a contributor to Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone magazine, and AOL Entertainment, and continues to be a frequent and favorite guest of television and radio. Lewis and his band are on tour throughout the country.
Lewis released his second solo EP called Roughcuts on February 3, 2015. He had released his self-titled first one in 2010.
The VoiceEditOn February 26, 2013, Lewis announced on Twitter that he had auditioned for season 4 of the hit NBC singing show The Voice. On the March 26, 2013 episode, Lewis auditioned as part of the duo Midas Whale with his friend, fellow singer-musician Ryan Hayes. The duo, whose blind audition song was the Johnny Cash classic "Folsom Prison Blues", choose Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine as their mentor. On the April 22, 2013 episode, they beat out soul-rock singer Patrick Dodd in the "Battle Rounds" to make it to the next stage of the competition. In the "Knockout Rounds", Midas Whale went up against singer Amber Carrington. Despite putting their own spin on the Stevie Wonder song "Higher Ground", the duo were eliminated on April 29, 2013.
Post The VoiceEdit
After their elimination, Lewis and Hayes started a fundraising campaign via Kickstarter.com to raise money for them to record an album amongst other things. They successfully reached their goal, raising a grand total of $36,442. They have also been posting demos of songs they've written on YouTube. The guys now have their own official website and released their debut album, Sugar House, on February 11, 2014.
- Sugar House (2014)
- Jon Peter Lewis (2010)
- Roughcuts (2015)
- Stories from Hollywood (2006)
- Break the Silence (2008)
|Fantasia Barrino · Diana DeGarmo · Jasmine Trias · LaToya London · George Huff · John Stevens · Jennifer Hudson · Jon Peter Lewis · Camile Velasco · Amy Adams · Matthew Rogers · Leah LaBelle|