David Archuleta

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Nov 2, 2017

Thu 8:00 PM

2719 Rochester Street
Kansas City, MO 64120

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  • David Archuleta

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Performer Info

David Archuleta: Singing on stage at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles was a moment David Archuleta will never forget, but there were a number of pivotal moments that happened in his (even) younger days, and he'll never forget any of them either, including singing for the first season "American Idol" contestants in Hollywood in 2002, when he was just 11 years old.

The David Archuleta story began on Dec. 28, 1990, the day David was born to Jeff and Lupe Archuleta in North Miami, Florida. His father was a jazz musician who was always playing the trumpet around the house. His mother was a singer who performed locally with her three sisters in a group known as the Mayorga Sisters. David always enjoyed music, but wasn't particularly fond of his dad's jazz trumpet playing, covering his ears "because it was so loud."

But then came one of those pivotal moments, when David was six years old and watched a videotape with his younger brother as his family was relocating from Florida to Utah. It was the 10th anniversary concert of the stage musical "Les Miserables" and David became captivated with the music, playing the tape over and over, memorizing each song, complete with cockney accents. Then he discovered and fell in love with other musicals like "Evita" and "Into the Woods." He also listened to his mother's Selena and Gloria Estefan albums, but he didn't pay attention to radio much and wasn't really aware of pop music, until he watched the first season of "American Idol."

He was first mesmerized by Tamyra Gray when she opened the Top 30 semifinals with her outstanding performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." It was the first time he was aware of how expressive and soulful music could be, and what it was like to vocalize emotions. This was perhaps the most pivotal musical moment of his young life, the first step on the path that led him to who he is today, a musical prodigy, the runner-up for the seventh season Of "American Idol" and the newest artist signed to 19 Recordings/Jive.

After David started watching "Idol," his father bought recording equipment, hooked it up to his computer, and recorded David singing "God Bless America," "I Will Always Love You," and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." When a friend of the Archuletas saw that "The Jenny Jones Show" was looking for "Future Latino Stars," she urged Jeff and Lupe to have their son try out. Based on a performance over the phone, a producer booked 11-year-old David to sing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" on Jones' show.

During that August 2002 performance, David met another young singer, AJ Gil, a finalist on the first season of "Idol." Returning home to Utah after the Jenny Jones experience, Jeff decided to drive to Hollywood the next day and surprise David by taking him to the first season finale of "Idol" at the Kodak Theater. He bought tickets on eBay, picked them up in Las Vegas, and then drove on to Hollywood.

It was during this trip that David met up with AJ again. Gil insisted David sing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" for Tamyra Gray. With Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini gathered around, the 11-year-old prodigy delivered, and his father captured it all on the video that has become an online classic.

Next, David tried out for "Star Search." The show didn't contact him the first season, but during the 2nd season, asked David to submit videos of him singing the Smokey Robinson/Jackson 5 song "Who's Lovin' You" and Billy Gilman's "One Voice." This time he was invited to compete on the show and appeared on three episodes in early 2003, winning the Junior category. A year later, he was invited back to compete against other winners. But this second run on "Star Search" was more difficult. David had been ill for a few months with appendicitis and bronchitis. Several weeks into his second "Star Search" experience, the Archuletas realized something was definitely wrong with David's voice.

A renowned ENT doctor in Beverly Hills diagnosed David with vocal paralysis and said the only options were either surgery or vocal therapy. They tried the latter, and after a frustrating couple of years of time and patience with the vocal therapy, the efforts worked and David was able to regain his ability to sing with confidence and endurance.

David continued to watch "American Idol" and thought about auditioning, but didn't believe he was "good enough." It was a moot point, because he was too young to try out. In the summer of 2007, at the tender age of 16, he was finally old enough, and his friends and family urged him to audition. He had to quit his job as a techie at a local amphitheater in Murray, Utah, and almost didn't go to try out because he was looking forward to this summer job.

Ultimately, David and his father went to the San Diego auditions. During the first round, while auditioning with other people, the producers dismissed the entire row and David walked away. "I'd been waiting in line for two days, and in 30 seconds it was all over," he says. "Then I heard someone say, 'Wait, come back.' I didn't think they were talking to me, so I kept going. And they said it again, 'Wait! Come back here!' I turned around and they said, 'You're through.' It was such a shock!"

The rest, as they say, is history. Simon, Randy and Paula sent David to Hollywood, where he made it into the top 24, then the top 12, and after never being in the bottom three, into the spectacular season finale.

Now David has had three songs debut at once on The Billboard Hot 100, is getting ready to tour the United States this summer as part of the "American Idols Live!" tour and is already recording his first album. Unforgettable moments? There are many more to come, for this is just the beginning of a long, successful career for the talented teen who captured the imagination of over 30 million "American Idol" viewers.

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