If you have any celebration left in you after Christmas and Hayley Williams’ birthday, you should raise a glass (of sparkling cider, of course) to David Archuleta. The former “American Idol” runner-up turns 20 years old today, and he has no shortage of things to celebrate. Born in Florida but raised in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah (he moved there when he was six years old), Archuleta got interested in singing early on and ended up performing in public for the first time at age 10 (he sang “I Will Always Love You” at a talent competition).
From there, he slowly set about establishing a career for himself, competing on “Star Search” when he was 12 years old. He parlayed those appearances into a handful of other television appearances, but obviously got the biggest boost of his career when he was finally old enough to audition for “American Idol.”
Archuleta dazzled the judges during an “Idol” audition in San Diego in 2007 with a rendition of John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” (the song famously inspired Randy Jackson to join in on backing vocals). He scored a ticket to Hollywood to compete as a semi-finalist on the show’s seventh season. That run also featured notable “Idol” contestants like David Cook (who eventually defeated Archuleta on the show’s final episode), Carly Smithson (now the lead singer of Evanescence offshoot band We Are the Fallen), Brooke White and Jason Castro. Despite all those heavy hitters, Archuleta managed to wow the judges (and the viewing audience) time and again, and his renditions of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Robbie Williams’ “Angels” and Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” are the stuff of “Idol” legend.
Since then, Archuleta has dropped three albums (two originals plus a Christmas album). One of his defining moments remains “A Little Too Not Over You,” from his self-titled 2008 album.
What would you get David Archuleta for his 20th birthday? Let us know in the comments!