Thursday, February 23, 2012

#44 Blake Lewis

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 44 finalist, pop star and beatboxer Blake Lewis. He is the runner-up of American Idol season 6, losing to Jordin Sparks, my favorite of that season. His major debut album A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream) was released in December 2007 through 19 Recordings Ltd. and Arista Records. On October 30, 2007, his pre-album single "Break Anotha" was released. The album landed at number ten on the U.S. Billboard Billboard 200 as its peaked with 97,500 copies sold in its debut, and sold over 350,000 copies so far. After the release of his second single "How Many Words", which peaked at number eight on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs, he lost his deal with Arista Records, but he got signed to the independent label Tommy Boy Entertainment.

His sophomore album, Heartbreak on Vinyl, was released on October 6, 2009. The first single "Sad Song" was released on July 21, 2009 and peaked at number ten on the U.S. Billboard Dance Radio Airplay. The album charted at number 135 on the U.S. Billboard Billboard 200, number twenty on the Billboard Independent Albums, and number seven on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums with over 4000 copies sold in the first week (1000 of those were digital downloads). At the time of American Idol season 8, I ranked Lewis at number 36.

Blake Colin Lewis was born on July 31, 1981, in Redmond, Washington, the city I may never step foot in as it is the home of Microsoft Corporation and Nintendo of America, to Dallas and Dinah Lewis. His mother Dinah is a guitarist and former rocker. He is an only child (as is Anoop Desai) and is of Welsh, Swiss, German, and Irish descent. He attended Kenmore Junior High and later Inglemoor High School (which is part of the Northshore school district) in Kenmore, Washington. During his high school tenure, Lewis participated in many high school state competitions . He also participated in numerous musicals, as well as comedy and rap videos with his friends. In many of these videos, he portrayed his alter ego, Jimmie Walker Blue, the character he introduced during the semi-final round of American Idol.

Lewis started beatboxing at the age of 17. He picked up this talent purely by ear, listening to CDs of beatboxing, after he was inspired by Matthew Selby, a former member of the Los Angeles based a capella group group M-Pact, of which fellow American Idol semi-finalist Rudy Cárdenas was also a member of.  Aside from singing and beatboxing, Lewis plays the guitar, keyboard, and percussion. and has written many songs such as "She Loves the Way", "Emotional Waterfalls", "Dumpty Humpty" and "Jealousy".

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