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Mario Vazquez

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Mario Vazquez © Arista Records

Birth and Early Life of Mario Vazquez:

Mario Vazquez was born June 15, 1977. His parents are both of Puerto Rican descent, and Mario grew up in the Bronx borough of New York City. Vazquez credits his parents with introducing him to a wide range of music and encouraging him to sing at an early age. Mario Vazquez attended the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and also performed as part of the CityKids Repertory Company.

Quote From Mario Vazquez:

From the Mario Vazquez Official Site:

"When I look back, I’m so glad my folks introduced me to such a great range of music. I always loved singing so I knew that was what I wanted to do as a career."

American Idol:

Based on a demo Mario Vazquez recorded, producer Teddy Riley invited him to contribute background vocals for Michael Jackson's Invincible album. He also had success as a commercial jingle singer. However, a restless Mario Vazquez feared that he was losing focus on a successful solo career, and he made the decision to compete on American Idol. He made it to the final group of 12 in 2005 before deciding to make another change in his career path.

Recording Contract:

Mario Vazquez made headlines by choosing to leave American Idol after making it to the final round of 12. He explained by saying "I wanted to control my own destiny as an artist." The decision appeared to be a very good one when Mario Vazquez received an offer to audition for pop music legend Clive Davis the day after Carrie Underwood emerged victorious from American Idol Season 4. Within 24 hours Vazquez had a contract as the first young male Latin artist signed to Arista Records.

Trivia Fact About Mario Vazquez:

Mario Vazquez' replacement on American Idol was the previously eliminated Nikko Smith.

"Gallery" Is a Pop Hit:

Arista Records put Mario Vazquez to work in the studio with some of the hottest pop producers including Fat Joe, Scott Storch, Soulshock & Karlin, and Steve Morales. His first single, "Gallery," was written by Ne-Yo and produced by Stargate. "Gallery" was released in the spring of 2006 and began a slow climb up the charts. By early October, 2006, the song was inside the top 20 on Billboard's Pop 100, and Mario Vazquez became only the second former American Idol contestant (after Kelly Clarkson) to enter the top 10 in pop radio airplay.

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