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David James Archuleta was born on December 28, 1990, to Jeff and Lupe Archuleta in North Miami, Florida. David was a student at Murray High School in Salt Lake County, Utah, when he competed and won second place in the American Idol competition, season 7. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes casually called the Mormon Church). His clear and beautiful singing voice, plus his emotional connection with the audience, coupled with his refreshing modesty and innocence, have won him fans nationwide.
Both of David's parents are musicians—his father is a jazz musician, and his mother, who is from Honduras, is a singer. Because of his mother's Latino heritage, David grew up listening to Latino music, as well as jazz music from his father's collection. David began singing at age 6 and has had professional training on and off. He suffered from partial vocal chord paralysis at one point but avoided surgery. David plays the piano and sometimes accompanies his own vocals.
David participated in the Utah Talent Competition at age 10. He received a standing ovation, and won the kids' division. This led to Archuleta competing on Star Search, appearances on The Jenny Jones Show and CBS' The Early Show as well as meeting the finalists from American Idol's first season, for whom he performed a spontaneous a-cappella rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls.  In 2003, at the age of 12, Archuleta participated in the televised singing competition, Star Search, winning the grand prize. David entered the American Idol tryouts in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium, held on July 30 & July 31, 2007.
On his American Idol "Fast Facts" page, David cites musical influences as: Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin and Bryan Adams. When asked to list his top pop artists, he cites; Natasha Bedingfield, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams and Kirk Franklin. He also cites Tamyra Gray and Elliott Yamin as his favorite former American Idol contestants. Like Yamin and another singer he admires, John Mayer, Archuleta aspires to infuse his pop selections with a soulful vibe.
The American Idol Competition
Before American Idol, he auditioned for "Star Search". David was on several episodes, and won the Junior category. When he was invited back the next year, his parents were concerned that he may have a medical condition that affected his voice. An ENT doctor diagnosed David with vocal paralysis. His options were given to him: surgery or vocal therapy. After intense vocal therapy, and a couple years of frustration and patience, their efforts worked. He could sing again.
David quit his job (which he was looking forward to) working at a local amphitheater in Murray, Utah, in order to audition for American Idol. Jeff, David's father, took him to San Diego to audition. He won over fans and the judges with his humility, musicality, and vocal talent. He lost the title to David Cook, but has enjoyed an extremely successful first year of his professional career as a popular singer.
David impressed the American Idol judges from his first audition (among 100,000 who tried out), and it wasn't long before the judges were predicting that he'd have a place in the finals or go on to win. David's young age and small stature were constantly commented upon, but his singing ability brought the audience to their feet and the judges to tears. At the end, the American Idol competition, seventh season, came down to two Davids—David Archuleta ("Archie") and David Cook ("Cookie), a 25 year old rocker with sincerity and kindness to match his musical polish. The finale, staged on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, May 20 and 21, 2008, was the largest and flashiest in American Idol history, with cheering fans filling the spacious and glitzy Nokia Theater in L.A., and guest artists from the top names in the business performing with the top twelve competitors. The final vote tallied at 97.5 million, and David Cook took the title, winning by about 12 million votes.
David Archuleta began receiving offers to launch his professional career the second the curtain fell on the competition. His gorgeous, silvery voice and youthful innocence have won the hearts of Americans and many fans around the world.
A Record Deal
David signed to 19 Recordings/Jive Records. His first David Archuleta appeared in 2008.
Simon Fuller, AMERICAN IDOL creator and 19 Entertainment Label Group founder, helped Archuleta get three songs into the Hot 100 for early June 2008: his cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” at number 36, his rendition of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” and his finale song, “In This Moment.”
David enjoyed an extremely successful first year of his professional career as a popular singer. Three of David’s songs hit the Billboard Hot 100. His single “Crush” was number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for “Crush” was as clean as a video can get, depicting clean-cut teens at a cabin, playing parlor games. Still, it was voted #1 music video on a popular TV show.
By 2009 David wasn’t spending much time in his hometown of Murray, Utah. He filmed a Thanksgiving special for November 2009 and toured or worked in Los Angeles. He had to work with the demands of fame as well as the demands of a busy career that required him to constantly push himself. He released a Christmas album (Christmas from the Heart) during the 2009 holidays.
During 2010, David worked with a team of writers in Nashville in preparation for a new album. He also wrote a memoir.
- “I decided if people want to know who I am, they need to know this about me, this part of my life and how important it is to me and how it has affected my decisions, how I view things, and why I am who I am.”
- “I feel like God’s the reason why I’m here, and the way that I’ve tried to do what I feel is right is the reason why I’m here. [Keep link Read more at Idol Chatter]
David continued to tour and release hit songs. He performed with Celtic Woman on their PBS Christmas special. His third album, The Other Side of Down, was released in October 2010. His fourth album, Forevermore, was released in 2012.
On June 1, 2010, Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song and the Power of Perseverance was released onto the book market. Anyone who wonders over the strength of David's faith and moral stance can find out from his personal and musical memoir why David chooses to consistently take the high road. Many people can probably guess at the challenges to his moral code that he must face in the music business, but would probably be surprised that he even fields requests for off-color comments on the photographs he autographs. That he has so much spiritual stamina for someone so young is a credit to his faith and his upbringing.
Singing with the MoTab
David joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their annual Christmas concerts. The concerts were presented on Thursday, December 16, 2010, (dress rehearsal), and Friday and Saturday, December 17–18, 2010. On Sunday, December 19, 2010, the Choir’s weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast also featured Archuleta with a mini-concert immediately following. All the concerts were held in the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. The concerts for Friday and Saturday were sold out by the end of November, but there was a stand-by line of hopefuls waiting in the cold winter night. Actor Michael York narrated the concerts.
David earned Eagle Scout rank with the Boy Scouts of America just as he was turning 18. It was tough to sandwich in final merit badges and a service project with his performing commitments. A short time later, David participated in higher covenants in the Jordan River Utah Temple.  Read about these events here.
David Archuleta has always been a spiritual person, very active in his Mormon faith. In late 2011, while performing near home, he announced that he would take two years' hiatus from his career in order to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
David was in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, when the Mormon General Conference was held in April of 2012. When an MTC missionary choir performed at one of the sessions, David was part of that choir. The following is a video of his announcement that he had chosen to serve an LDS mission.As a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ, David performed at the Santiago Chile Temple Christmas Concert in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, he performed “O Holy Night,” “Mary, Did You Know,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and “Los Pastores a Belen,” each in Spanish. The performance was broadcast live on LDS.org, and can still be viewed there. Clips are available on Youtube. A pre-recorded album titled Begin was released in August 2012. He also delighted his fans with an album release in March 2013 (No Matter How Far), which was also recorded before he began service as a full-time missionary.
After David's return from his LDS mission, there was a General Conference for the Church held in April 2014. KSL aired a special on David's missionary service — "David Archuleta: Called to Serve." See it here.
He was featured in the first Face-to-Face Live Facebook Youth event on June 24, 2014, moderated by Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, and David L. Beck, Young Men general president. Archuleta was asked a variety of questions by the moderators and youth around the world. The event included two separate one-hour events, one in English and one in Spanish, where he sang four songs in English and three songs in Spanish. The event streamed live and is still being viewed on YouTube and here.
Archuleta, along with The Piano Guys, Peter Hollens, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed “Angels from the Realms of Glory” as part of the December 2014 video created along with the effort to claim the Guinness Book of World Records’ title for largest live Nativity, which was achieved with over one thousand participants. The final video premiered on The Piano Guys’ YouTube channel and attracted over seven million views.
More at MormonMusic.org
- David at the Mormon Missionary Training Center
- More about David June, 2010
- About David's Christmas Album, Winter 2009
- "And the Winner is David"--Everything you wanted to know about David in one news article, including comments from his voice coach and professionals in the business
- David talks about singing John Lennon's Imagine
- Video of David singing "The Long and Winding Road"
- Video of David singing to the American Idol, season 1, contestants
- Video of David singing "Imagine"
- Video of David singing "Shop Around"
- Video of David singing "When You Believe"
- Video of David singing "Think of Me"
- Video of David singing "Love Me Tender"
- Video of David singing "Stand by Me"
- Video of David singing "The Long and Winding Road"
- Video of David singing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" at the American Idol Finale
- Video of David singing "Imagine" at the American Idol Finale
- Video of David singing "Hero" with David Cook at the American Idol finale
- David Archuleta's official website
- American Idol:Introducing David Archuleta
- David HQ
- Singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
- All about Mormon Youth
- A PDF edition of the booklet describing the standards David lives by
- The Mormon Church's official website
- Everything you wanted to know about Mormons but were afraid to ask