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Ruben Studdard is a R&B, pop, and gospel singer. He rose to fame as winner of the second season of American Idol.
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Ruben Studdard is a R&B, pop, and gospel singer. As a child, he sang gospel in his local church. Though he won a football scholarship to Alabama A&M University, he decided to major in music instead. After graduating he auditioned on a whim for American Idol, Fox's hit television talent search show, in 2002. He not only earned a spot, but won first place. His earned a Grammy nomination in 2003.
Born Christopher Ruben Studdard on September 12, 1978, in Birmingham, Alabama. As a child, Studdard sang gospel in his local church from the age of 3. Though he won a football scholarship to Alabama A&M University, Studdard decided to major in music instead. After graduating in 2000, he auditioned on a whim for American Idol, Fox's hit television talent search show, in 2002.
Studdard not only earned a spot on American Idol, but eventually won first place in May 2003 thanks to more than 24 million viewers who cast their votes. Dubbed "The Velvet Teddy Bear" by guest judge Gladys Knight, he crooned to triumph over his rival, fellow Southerner Clay Aiken. Shortly after the win, Studdard produced his debut single, a cover of Westlife's "Flying Without Wings." After completing a 39-city tour with his fellow competitors, he returned to record his first album, Soulful. Advance orders for the album topped the 1 million mark before it was even released in December 2003.
For his second album, I Need an Angel (2004), Studdard decided to make a contemporary gospel recording. He put his own spin on such classics as "Shout to the Lord" and Amazing Grace." In the fall of 2006, Studdard contributed to several tracks on his latest effort, The Return (2006). It initially made a strong showing on the album charts, and the singles "Change Me" and "Make Ya Feel Beautiful" made the R&B and hip-hop charts.
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