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Phillip Phillips

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Phillip Phillips

Phillip Phillips
Phillips at the Walmart Soundcheck, December 2013
Background information
Birth name Phillip LaDon Phillips, Jr.
Born (1990-09-20) September 20, 1990
Albany, Georgia, U.S.
Origin Leesburg, Georgia
Genres Pop rock, folk rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2009–present
Labels Interscope, 19
Website .com.phillipphillipswww

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.[1][2][3] His coronation song "Home", released after his win, became the best selling of all coronation songs.[4][5] His debut album The World from the Side of the Moon was released on November 19, 2012.[6] His second album, Behind the Light, was released on May 19, 2014.[7]

Early life

Phillips was born in Lee County High School.[13][14][15] 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.[16] Prior to appearing on American Idol, he worked at his family's pawn shop.[17]

Phillips started playing music, particularly the guitar,[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] He won a local singing competition, "Albany Star", in 2010.[21] Phillips said his favorite singer is Jonny Lang, and other favorites include John Butler, Dave Matthews and Damien Rice,[22] and he also enjoyed Mumford & Sons and Tool.[19] He said that he grew up mainly listening to 60's and 70's music like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.[18] 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."[18] He described his music as "jazz and rock alternative sound".[23]

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.[24]

American Idol


Phillips auditioned in [25] He sang "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder.[25][26] The judges then asked him to perform a second song with his guitar, and he performed Michael Jackson's "Thriller."[25][26] He advanced to the Hollywood rounds,[25] and later to the Las Vegas round.[27]

On February 23, 2012, Phillips was chosen as one of the Top 25 semi-finalists,[28] and then voted into the Top 13.[15][29] His performance style on the show has been compared to Dave Matthews, and he covered one of his songs, "The Stone", in the competition.[30] When asked about Phillips' imitation of his style, Dave Matthews said: "More power to him, I don't mind", and added "He should kick my ass, [then] maybe I can retire and he can take over my band."[31]

After the Top 13 performance night, Phillips was taken to a doctor for possible kidney stones.[32][33] He had eight procedures while he was on Idol, and had considered quitting the show due to the pain.[34][35]

For his Top 3 performance, Phillips sang Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight." As the sole contestant who was never in jeopardy of elimination in any week of the competition, Phillips became the winner on the finale against Jessica Sanchez after a record-breaking total of 132 million votes were cast.[36] His coronation song, "Home", was released after his performance, and had the biggest digital sales week for any Idol winner's coronation song.[37]

American Idol season 11 performances and results
Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "Superstition" Stevie Wonder N/A Advanced
"Thriller" Michael Jackson
Hollywood 1 First Solo "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" James Brown
Hollywood 2 Group Performance "Broken Strings"
with Heejun Han, Richie Law and Jairon Jackson
James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado
Hollywood 3 Second Solo "Wicked Game" Chris Isaak
Las Vegas Songs of the 1950s
Group Performance
"I Only Have Eyes for You"
with Neco Starr, Jairon Jackson and Heejun Han
Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler
Final Judgment Final Solo "Nice & Slow" Usher
Top 25 (13 Men) Personal Choice "In the Air Tonight" Phil Collins 9
Top 13 Stevie Wonder "Superstition" Stevie Wonder 13 Safe
Top 11 Year They Were Born "Hard to Handle" Otis Redding 1
Top 10 Billy Joel "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" Billy Joel 6
Top 9 Their Personal Idols Trio "Landslide" / "Edge of Seventeen" / "Don't Stop"
with Colton Dixon & Elise Testone
Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks 3
Solo "Still Rainin'" Jonny Lang 9
Top 8 Songs from the 1980s Solo "That's All" Genesis 4
Duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
with Elise Testone
Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 8
Top 7 Songs from the 2010s Duet "Somebody That I Used to Know"
with Elise Testone
Gotye feat. Kimbra 3
Solo "Give a Little More" Maroon 5 8
Top 7 Songs from Now & Then "U Got It Bad" Usher 4
"In the Midnight Hour" Wilson Pickett 11
Top 6 Queen "Fat Bottomed Girls" Queen 5
Contestant's Choice "The Stone" Dave Matthews Band 11
Top 5 Songs from the 1960s Solo "The Letter" The Box Tops 2
Duet "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
with Joshua Ledet
The Righteous Brothers 4
British Pop "Time of the Season" The Zombies 8
Top 4 California Dreamin' Solo "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" Creedence Clearwater Revival 1
Duet "This Love"
with Joshua Ledet
Maroon 5 5
Quartet "Waiting for a Girl Like You"
with Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet & Jessica Sanchez
Foreigner 7
Songs They Wish They'd Written "Volcano" Damien Rice 8
Top 3 Judges' Choice "Beggin'" The Four Seasons 3
Contestant's Choice "Disease" Matchbox Twenty 6
Jimmy Iovine's Choice "We've Got Tonight" Bob Seger 9
Finale Simon Fuller's Choice "Stand by Me" Ben E. King 2 Winner
Favorite Performance "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" Billy Joel 4
Winner's Single "Home" Phillip Phillips 6
  • ^Note 1 Due to the judges using their one save on Jessica Sanchez, the Top 7 remained intact for another week.

Music career

Phillips at the American Idols Live! Tour in Seattle, July 2012

After winning American Idol, Phillips went on the American Idol LIVE Tour from July to September with the rest of the Top 10 finishers of season 11. He performed the National Anthem at the opening game of the 2012 World Series on October 24, 2012.[38] 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.[39] He also performed at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on December 6, 2012.[40]

Phillips' coronation song, "Home", was a great success with sales of over 4 million copies in the US.[41] It has been used in NBC's coverage of the Olympics, various commercials, film trailers, and TV shows.[42] He performed "Home" on the PBS Independence Day celebration TV special, A Capitol 4th.[43] He also appeared at the 83rd MLB All-Star Game held at Kansas City on July 10 and sang his coronation song.[44] On October 9, 2012, he joined other musicians in the One World concert held in Syracuse University to honor the Dalai Lama.[45] He also performed "Home" on the CNN Heroes special aired on December 2, 2012,[46] and the CBS's A Home for the Holidays on December 19, 2012.[47]

2012–13: The World from the Side of the Moon

On October 15, Interscope announced that Phillips would release his debut album, titled The World from the Side of the Moon, on November 19, 2012.[6][48] The album was produced by Gregg Wattenberg, with Phillips writing or co-writing the majority of the disc.[6] On November 6, 2012, "Where We Came From" was released in advance of the album release as a free download on pre-order and for sale.[49] The album debuted at No. 4 in the Billboard 200 with sales of 169,000 copies.[50] The album was certified Platinum by RIAA in August 2013.[51]

Starting January 29, 2013, Phillips began a tour in North America with Matchbox Twenty as their opening act.[52][53] He also headlined ten college dates in January with a four-piece acoustic band, and a further college tour with an electric band from March through May after his tour with Matchbox Twenty.[5] Nine of his college tour dates however were postponed due to his continuing health issue.[54] From July 6 to October 5, 2013 he toured as the opening act for John Mayer's Born and Raised World Tour,[55] followed by his own college tour and then further dates with John Mayer until December 17.[56] He also performed at the international music festival Rock in Rio, in Rio de Janeiro on September 21, the same day as John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen.[57] In 2014, a solo tour of Canada is also scheduled, as well as other dates in the US.[58] The third single released from the album was "Where We Came From".[59]

"Gone, Gone, Gone" from the album was released as a single on February 11, 2013. Phillips performed the song live on the March 14, 2013 edition of American Idol. "Gone, Gone, Gone" was also used as the twelfth season "send-off" song, played as the backing track for the montages that highlight each week's eliminated finalist.

2014: Behind the Light

Phillips performing in 2014

In March 2013, Phillips stated that he was "always writing" and that his second studio album would be released sometime in 2014.[60] The album, titled Behind the Light, was released on May 19, 2014.[61]

On February 26, 2014, he announced the debut single from his second album, "Raging Fire". The single was released digitally on March 3, 2014.[62] A promotional single, "Fly" was released alongside the album's pre-order on April 22, 2014.[63]

Phillip Phillips toured with O.A.R. in the Summer of 2014.

Personal life

Phillips has suffered from a congenital kidney condition that produces stones so large that he cannot pass them.[64] Soon after American Idol had finished, he had the kidney stones removed as well as reconstructive surgery done on his kidney.[65]


Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice Love Song "Home" Nominated
Choice Music: Breakout Artist Himself Nominated
2013 World Music Awards World's Best Song "Home" Nominated
World's Best Male Artist Himself Nominated
Billboard Music Awards Top Rock Song "Home" Nominated
Top Rock Album The World from the Side of the Moon Nominated
MuchMusic Video Awards[66] International Video of the Year - Artist "Home" Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Artist Himself Nominated
Choice Rock Song "Gone, Gone, Gone" Nominated
American Music Awards New Artist of the Year Himself Nominated


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  20. ^ "Albany Panther Announce Tailgate". The Albany Journal. April 29, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2012. 
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  28. ^ American Idol' reveals 14 of eleventh season's Top 24 semifinalists"'". February 23, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  29. ^ "American Idol – Access Hollywood". Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
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  34. ^ Brian Mansfield (May 24, 2012). "Surgery won't affect Idols tour, Phillips says". Idol Chatter (USA Today). Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
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  51. ^ "American album certifications – Phillip Phillips – The World from the Side of the Moon".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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  55. ^ Marc Schneider (March 21, 2013). "John Mayer Announces First Tour in 3 Years". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
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  57. ^ "PHILLIP PHILLIPS, WELCOME TO ROCK IN RIO!". March 11, 2013. 
  58. ^ "American Idol winner Phillip Phillips to perform at Wild Adventures". Albany Herald. February 7, 2014. 
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  60. ^ Nicole Pajer (March 23, 2013). "Phillip Phillips 'Always Writing' for Next Album". Billboard. 
  61. ^ Brian Mansfield (March 28, 2014). "Phillip Phillips releasing sophomore album in May". USA TODAY. 
  62. ^ "‘American Idol’ winner Phillip Phillips announces new single ‘Raging Fire’ February 26, 2014". Cater Matt. 
  63. ^ "New Music: Phillip Phillips - 'Fly' (Review)". Direct Lyrics. 
  64. ^ Gil Kaufman (June 7, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Has Kidney Surgery". MTV. 
  65. ^ Marisa Laudadio (July 1, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Reveals Details of Year-Long Kidney Crisis". Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  66. ^ "Marianas Trench lead the 2013 MMVAs with six nominations". May 21, 2013. 

External links

Preceded by
Scotty McCreery
American Idol winner
Succeeded by
Candice Glover
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