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SOULFUL IMPRESSIONS | profile | all galleries >> Lee DeWyze tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Lee DeWyze

IMAGES OF LEE DEWYZE BY KURT SWANSON AND SOULFUL IMPRESSIONS
E-MAIL: kurtswanson@juno.com
Leon James "Lee" DeWyze (born April 2, 1986) is an American singer-songwriter from Mount Prospect, Illinois, who is a finalist on the ninth season of American Idol. Prior to Idol, DeWyze released two independent albums called So I'm Told in 2007 and Slumberland in 2010.

Early life
DeWyze attended Saint James Catholic School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, for elementary school and for high school he attended Prospect High School but was kicked out and then attended Forest View Alternative School in Arlington Heights. He states that music and his teachers were his inspiration to go back to his studies. Before Idol, DeWyze worked as a paint salesman. DeWyze is of Irish American descent.

His musical influences include Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, and Simon & Garfunkel. He also covered the song "The Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson.
Career
DeWyze's career began when he was 16 or 17, after he met Louis Svitek, owner of WuLi Records, and Ryan McGuire of The Virginia Gentlemen. Prior to becoming a contestant of American Idol, DeWyze released two albums, So I'm Told (2007)and Slumberland (2010)produced by Ryan McGuire for Wuli Records.
American Idol
DeWyze auditioned in Chicago for the ninth season of American Idol with the song "Ain't No Sunshine", which was also covered by Kris Allen. During Hollywood week, his group included Aaron Kelly and Crystal Bowersox, who all made it into the top 24 and subsequently the top 5.

During the first week, he performed "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, which was praised by Simon Cowell. The next week he sang "Lips of an Angel", which was received quite well by all the judges, but they liked to see more confidence in himself, but good enough to get him into the top 16. His third song, "Fireflies", came as a surprise and was generally liked by the viewers, critics, and the judges.

After making it to the Top 12, DeWyze performed "Beast of Burden" during The Rolling Stones week. For the Top 11's theme, Billboard #1 Hits, DeWyze performed "The Letter" by The Box Tops. The following week DeWyze performed "Treat Her Like a Lady" impressing mentor Usher and all four judges including Cowell who said that "This was the night your life may have changed forever." His closest friends among the competitors were Siobhan Magnus and his Idol roommate Andrew Garcia.

Alongside Crystal Bowersox, DeWyze so far never landed on the Bottom 3 from the early part of the Finals.

On May 14, 2010, DeWyze preformed at the Arlington Park Race Track in Arlington Heights, Illinois with more than 41,000 people attending as part of his American Idol Homecoming day.
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