175. Daughtry – Daughtry
No one has parlayed a defeat on American Idol into an overwhelming successful music career quite like Chris Daughtry and his last named titled band. I remember watching that years “try outs” with my family and we all immediately called Daughtry the early favorite. His personable demeanor and impressive rock edged vocals well so superior to the competition we were wondering why they even bothered with Hollywood and weekly eliminations.
Then the best thing that ever could happen to Daughtry took place when he was eliminated several weeks before finals. This allowed the man and artist to create music he desired rather than being forced into a particular pop model that other “winners” have been dragged into. After turning down the band Fuel to be their new lead singer he went into the studio with his own band and recorded a monster of a record.
I will admit my initial reaction to Daughtry was heightened when I began to notice him wearing T-shirts of bands like Day of Fire, Red and Third Day. It was then I discovered that he was part of a Christian band called Absent Element and has been very vocal in his faith though always avoided being a part of the CCM world.
His worldview, though, is evident on both albums, especially on the eponymous debut. Christian radio was very receptive to songs like Home, It’s Not Over and What About Now. Christian rock radio expanded the list. This not an evangelical treatise but rather a collection of songs written from a Christian worldview but for a wider and more universal audience.
Daughtry appears to be the best “artist” to arise from the 9 or so seasons of American Idol and for all the pitfalls of such a nationwide talent show, it’s comforting to know that someone like Daughtry can finally be heard. That says quite a bit about the hundreds of record executives that received Daughtry’s music and never even feigned interest. Makes one wonder how much more great music is lost by short-sided record companies too busy trying to duplicate what everyone else is already doing.