North Carolina’s Singers Who Won National TV Competitions
It has been more than two decades now and the modern-day, American TV singing competitions are still going strong.
It started when “American Idol” popped onto FOX with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Johnson serving as judges and Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman co-hosting for a brief time. Seacrest then went solo.
The show was such a hit, copycats popped up in different genres. Even cover bands got their moment in the sun. But the big three are “Idol,” “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” which rewards entertainers of all sorts in addition to singers.
BetCarolina.com – your source for North Carolina sports betting - utilized Wikipedia to gather each winner from the first season on of NBC’s “The Voice,” FOX & ABC’s “American Idol” and the singers who won on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” After finding the hometown of each contestant, we were able to come up with the states that have produced the most singing competition winners.
Hometown States of Singing Champions
All About North Carolina’s Winners
North Carolina has had three singing winners – all from “American Idol” - and we look at them here:
Fantasia Barrino, known as Fantasia, from High Point, won the fourth season of “Idol” in 2004 and has gone on to be one of the most successful winners. She was only 19 when she won.
Fantasia had numerous highlights on “Idol” and her version of the Gershwins’ “Summertime” from “Porgy & Bess” is considered one of the show’s greatest performances. She was in the Bottom 2 twice, after Barry Manilow Week and Disco Week, but in the Top 3 she hit her stride with Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools,” Ike & Tina Turner’s “A Fool in Love” and George Benson/Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.”
In the finals she sang K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life,” revisited “Summertime” and sang her debut single, “I Believe.”
Fantasia’s first album, “Free Yourself,” has sold more than 2 million copies and was nominated for three Grammys. She played herself in a Lifetime biopic, starred in “The Color Purple” musical on Broadway and is expected to reprise the role in the movie adaptation. Fantasia won her first Grammy in 2011 and has continued to write, record and perform all over the world.
In 2011, Garner’s Scott McCreery won the 10th season of “Idol.” A country singer, McCreery mostly stuck to covering country performers on the show, such as Josh Turner, Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, George Strait and John Michael Montgomery. Even during Elton John Week, he covered John’s “Country Comfort.”
His debut single was “I Love You This Big,” which was certified Gold. His first album, “Clear As Day,” was also a major hit, scoring on country and Christian radio. His most recent album was “Same Truck” in 2021.
Three years later, Caleb Johnson from Asheville won the show’s Season 13, one of the few rock singers to break through on any singing competition show. But Johnson was different throughout: He auditioned with an original song, “Into the Void,” sang the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” a capella and covered artists as different as Adele, Carrie Underwood and Rush.
In the finals, he performed Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” reprised Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” and debuted the winner’s single “As Long as You Love Me.”
Johnson has released a trio of albums, numerous singles and toured with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
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