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Singer Kris Allen was the winner of the eighth season of the reality TV competition American Idol. He was the first married contestant ever to win.
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Singer. Born Kristopher Neil Allen on June 21, 1985, to parents Kim and Neil Allen in Jacksonville, Arkansas. He now lives in Conway, Arkansas.
Allen had an early interest in music; he started playing the viola while in elementary school, and taught himself to play the guitar at the age of 13. He can also play the piano and ukulele. While in high school, he ranked All-State in music performance and received offers to play in college orchestras.
Allen enrolled in the University of Central Arkansas for college, where he majored in business. Faith plays a large part in Allen's life, and led the aspiring musician to become a worship leader for New Life Church in Arkansas at both the Conway and Greater Little Rock campuses, and on campus at University of Central Arkansas with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. He has also completed missionary work in Morocco, Spain, Mozambique, South Africa, Thailand, and Burma.
Music also remained an important part in his life, and in 2007 he produced his own album entitled Brand New Shoes.
The next year, on September 26, 2008, he married his high school sweetheart, Katy O'Connell, who was also a former homecoming queen at the University of Arkansas.
Allen stepped into the spotlight in 2009, when he became a finalist on the eighth season of the reality competition American Idol. He, along with fellow performers Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert, have avoided the bottom three positions on the show, which often lead to elimination.
On the final episode of the season, Allen faced off against rocker Adam Lambert, who was favored to win the vote. At the end of the night, however, Allen took the title as the next American Idol. He also became the first married contestant to win the competition.
During the finale of the show, Allen performed the song "Kiss a Girl" with country music star Keith Urban. He then sang a duet with finalist Adam Lambert: "We Are the Champions" by Queen. Following his big win, Allen says he is already at work on a new single entitled "No Boundaries."
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