Phillip Phillips, Artist of the Week
Runs June 23-27th.
Phillip LaDon Phillips, Jr. (born September 20, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter, who won the eleventh season of American Idol on May 23, 2012. His coronation song “Home”, released after his win, became the best-selling of all coronation songs. His debut album The World from the Side of the Moon was released on November 19, 2012. His second album, Behind the Light, was released on May 19, 2014.
Phillips was born in Albany, Georgia, to Sheryl and Phillip LaDon “Donnie” Phillips, Sr., and moved to Leesburg, Georgia when he was twelve. He grew up in Sasser and Leesburg, and attended Lee County High School. He graduated from Albany Technical College with a major in Industrial Systems Technology, but missed the graduation ceremony due to his obligations to American Idol. Prior to appearing on American Idol, he worked at his family’s pawn shop.
Phillips started playing music, particularly the guitar, when he was 14. He was mentored by his long-time friend and brother-in-law, Benjamin Neil, whom he credited for piquing his interest in music. In 2009, he formed the Phillip Phillips Band with Neil and another brother-in-law, Todd Urick, and performed in various local venues and events. He won a local singing competition, “Albany Star”, in 2010. Phillips said his favorite singer is Jonny Lang, and other favorites include John Butler, Dave Matthews and Damien Rice, and he also enjoyed Mumford & Sons and Tool. He said that he grew up mainly listening to 60’s and 70’s music like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. He then said as he grew up, “Then as I got older I found Damien Rice and Dave Matthews and John Butler, which is what really set it off for me in terms of finding my voice as a musician.” He described his music as “jazz and rock alternative sound”. Prior to trying out for American Idol, he also auditioned on the second season of America’s Got Talent but did not make it to its finals.
He suffered from a congenital kidney condition that produces stones so large he cannot pass them. Soon after American Idol had finished, he had the kidney stones removed as well as reconstructive surgery done on his kidney
After winning American Idol, Phillips went on the American Idol LIVE Tour from July to September. He performed the National Anthem at the opening game of the 2012 World Series on October 24, 2012. On November 15, he joined forces with the PS22 chorus of Staten Island for a concert to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. He also performed at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on December 6, 2012.
Phillips’ coronation song, “Home”, was a great success with sales of over 4 million copies in the US. It has been used in NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, various commercials, film trailers, and TV shows. He performed “Home” on the PBS Independence Day celebration TV special, A Capitol 4th. He also appeared at the 83rd MLB All-Star Game held at Kansas City on July 10 and sang his coronation song. On October 9, 2012, he joined other musicians in the One World concert held in Syracuse University to honor the Dalai Lama. He also performed “Home” on the CNN Heroes special aired on December 2, 2012, and the CBS’s A Home for the Holidays on December 19, 2012.
in March 2013, Phillips stated that he was “always writing” and that his second studio album would be released sometime in 2014. The album, titled Behind the Light, was released on May 19, 2014.
On February 26, 2014, he announced the debut single from his second album, “Raging Fire”. The single was released digitally on March 3, 2014. A promotional single, “Fly” was released alongside the album’s pre-order on April 22, 2014.