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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 Rob Cavallo, was released on November 18, 2008 and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Early life

Cook was born in Houston, Texas, raised in Blue Springsmarker, Missourimarker, and currently lives in Kansas Citymarker, Missourimarker. His parents are Beth Foraker (née Frye) and Stanley Cook. He is the middle of three brothers— the late Adam being older and Andrew younger.

Cook's interest in music began at a young age. He began singing in second grade, when his elementary school music teacher gave him a part in a school Christmas 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 and once gave up a home run to Albert Pujols in an American Legion Baseball game. After an 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, Oklahomamarker, 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."

Musical background

His musical influences include Our Lady Peace, Alice in Chains, Big Wreck, Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, Chris Cornell, Switchfoot, 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.

American Idol


Cook originally did not plan to try out for the show. He came to the auditions initially to support his younger brother (who did not make it to Hollywoodmarker) and then, at his mother's and 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 " 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.

Another of Cook's performances, The Beatles' "Day Tripper", was credited to Whitesnake. Seattlemarker-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.

Cook won the seventh season of American Idol on May 21, 2008, receiving 56 percent of the votes, with 12 million votes over David Archuleta, 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 final 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.


Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition N/A "Livin' On A Prayer" Bon Jovi N/A Advanced
Hollywood N/A " I Do It for You" Bryan Adams N/A Advanced
Top 50 N/A "I'll Be" Edwin McCain N/A Advanced
Top 24 (12 Men) 1960s "Happy Together" The Turtles 3 Safe
Top 20 (10 Men) 1970s "All Right Now" Free 9 Safe
Top 16 (8 Men) 1980s "Hello" Lionel Richie 6 Safe
Top 12 Lennon/McCartney "Eleanor Rigby" The Beatles 6 Safe
Top 11 The Beatles "Day Tripper" The Beatles 6 Safe
Top 10 Year They Were Born "Billie Jean" Michael Jackson 10 Safe
Top 9 Dolly Parton "Little Sparrow" Dolly Parton 2 Safe
Top 8 Inspirational Songs "Innocent" Our Lady Peace 5 Safe
Top 7 Mariah Carey "Always Be My Baby" Mariah Carey 6 Safe
Top 6 Andrew Lloyd Webber "The Music of the Night" The Phantom of the Opera 6 Safe
Top 5 Neil Diamond "I'm Alive"

"All I Really Need Is You"
Neil Diamond 2

Top 4 Rock and Roll Hall of Famemarker "Hungry Like the Wolf"

"Baba O'Riley"
Duran Duran

The Who

Top 3 Judge's Choice (Simon Cowell)

Contestant's Choice

Producer's Choice
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"

"Dare You to Move"

"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
Roberta Flack




Finale Clive Davis's Choice

New Song

Contestant's Choice
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

"Dream Big"

"The World I Know"

Written by Emily Shackelton

Collective Soul



Post-Idol career

Cook performing during the American Idols Live!
Tour 2008.
For 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.

2008-Present David Cook

Cook worked with Espionage, Ed Roland (Collective Soul), Zac Maloy (The Nixons), Jason Wade (Lifehouse), Neal Tiemann (the Midwest Kings), 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-FMmarker 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.

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 1, 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.

He announced that the name of his supporting band would be "The Anthemic" on August 23, 2009, via a radio interview for KHOP.

The Declaration Tour - 2009

In 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.Members of his touring band are Neal Tiemann (lead guitar, backing vocals), Andy Skib (rhythm guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Joey Clement/Monty Anderson (bass guitar), and Kyle Peek (drums, backing vocals). The tour began on February 13, 2009 in Tallahassee Florida, and was originally set to end in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 25, 2009. The tour has since been extended through November. On August 14, 2009, David Cook performed his 100th show at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, TN. On August 23, 2009 at his concert in Yakima, WA, Cook announced to the crowd that the band was going to be known as The Anthemic henceforth.
David Cook at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX, as part of the Declaration tour.

Other performances

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 appeared in several promotions for the November 1st episode of "Saturday Night Live", hosted by Ben Affleck. Cook performed two songs on the program, the first "Light On" and the second "Declaration".

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 2009 by performing songs from his debut album for the troops during a USO tour, where he was able to visit seven bases.

In 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 Experiencemarker. 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 honor them for winning the competition.

On May 16, 2009, Cook and David Archuleta had their first ever Manila concert together at the Mall of Asia Concert Groundsmarker, Manilamarker, Philippinesmarker.

On May 20, 2009, Cook returned to the Idol stage during the Grand Finale of American Idol to perform his song "Permanent" in honor of his late brother Adam. The live version of the song was released to iTunes soon afterwards with 100% of the proceeds from downloads of it going to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2).

Cook performed Heroes and Declaration at the 2009 All-Star Game Home Run Derby on July 13. He wore an American League shirt to honor his favorite team the Kansas City Royals and made some jokes about it. He said that "it was just a huge amount of icing on the cake", to come back to his home state for an All-Star Game and that , "this is a trip, I'm a huge baseball fan, so to get to be here for All-Star Week and be involved it's massive."

On August 7, 2009, Cook performed with American Idol season 8 winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert on ABC's Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series in Central Parkmarker.

On August 11, 2009, Cook Performed "Starseed" with Canadian Alt-Rockers, "Our Lady Peace" at the House of Blues Dallas.

According to, David Cook will guest in a variety TV special hosted by American Idol Season 4 winner, ACM Entertainer of the Year, Grammy-award winner, Carrie Underwood. Other guest include Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley.[714012]

Personal life

On August 3, 2009, Cook gave a shout out to one of his longtime buddies, Amanda Cox, a WFMZ-TV 69marker meteorologist he dated in seventh grade when they both lived in Missourimarker. Cook was Cox's first kiss and she got to interview him Monday before his concert at Musikfest.

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 revealed 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 denied 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.

People reported on March 31, 2009 that David was canceling dates on his current tour due to "family matters". David's eldest brother, Adam, battled brain cancer since 1998 and died at 11:52 P.M. on Saturday, May 2, 2009. Though not there, he had canceled several performances weeks earlier to see Adam and say their goodbyes. On May 3, 2009 at the "Race for Hope" in Washington, D.C., David announced the death of his brother during the awards speech, and saying he "couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now." David finished the 5k with a time of 28 minutes. He said that he "will be back every year" as long as they will have him. David's team raised $136,376.16 for the cause. Donations were accepted through September 30, 2009. On the finale of the 8th season of American Idol, Cook sang his song "Permanent" in honor of his brother. Audio of the performance was made available on iTunes, and the proceeds from the sale of it were put toward brain cancer research.



Awards and nominations

Year Presenter Award Result
2008 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Male Reality/Variety Star
Best Presenter (Post Show)
The New Music Awards Top 40 Male Artist of the Year
2009 Teen Choice Awards Breakout Artist
Album (Male Artist)
Nashville Music Awards Song of the Year - "Time of My Life"



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