David Cook's Early Life and Education:
David Cook was born December 20, 1982 in Houston, Texas but was raised in Blue Springs, Missouri. He began singing while in elementary school and received his first guitar at the age of 12. David Cook was a frequent performer in high school musicals including The Music Man and Wet Side Story. He earned a theater scholarship to college but later changed to a major in graphic design.
David Cook formed the rock group Axium during his junior year in high school in 1999. He was the lead vocalist and guitarist of the group until 2006. The group gained a strong local following in the Kansas City area. After graduating from college, David Cook left Axium and began touring with the group Midwest Kings based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
David Cook as a Solo Artist:
At the same time as performing with Midwest Kings, David Cook took his first steps toward a solo career. Analog Heart, a solo album, was independently released in 2006. The work was cited in local press as one of the top music projects of the year. By the time he was a contestant in American Idol, David Cook had already recorded material for a second solo album.
David Cook auditioned for American Idol in Omaha, Nebraska performing Bon Jovi's classic "Livin' On a Prayer." David Cook originally went to the audition solely to support his brother's efforts. However, at his brother's urging, David tried out himself and began a journey toward the championship. One of his most memorable performances was a version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" influenced by Chris Cornell's interpretation of the song. In the American Idol finale, David Cook easily defeated David Archuleta taking 56% of the vote.
David Cook as Pop Star:
David Cook performed the song "The Time of My Life" at the 2008 American Idol finale. When released as a single it went to #6 on the US pop singles chart. After his American Idol victory, David Cook brought an incredible 11 performances from the show into the pop singles chart the same week. While participating in the American Idol concert tour, Cook began recording his first post-Idol album. David Cook was released in November 2008 and debuted at #3 on the Billboard albums chart. The single "Light On" reached the top 25 on the pop singles chart in early 2009.