Early Life and Growing Up:
Lee Dewyze was born April 2, 1986 in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He did not graduate from high school and worked as a paint salesman until Hollywood Week of American Idol. Lee DeWyze was discovered singing and playing guitar at a house party by Louis Svitek, a former member of the band Ministry. As a result, he was signed to the independent label WuLi Records and formed the Lee DeWyze Band.
Lee DeWyze As a Regional Artist:
The members of the Lee DeWyze Band included Louis Svitek, Ryan McGuire and Jeff Henderson. Two albums were released. The first So I'm Told was released in 2007. The second Slumberland appeared in 2010 and reached Billboard's Heatseekers album chart. His music was played on Chicago radio station WXRT.
Lee DeWyze auditioned for American Idol at Chicago's United Center in June 2009. He was encouraged by friend Vincent Ferrara who also auditioned. Lee DeWyze was one of only 13 chosen from Chicago to advance to Hollywood Week. Through the season he was the only male contestant to never land in the bottom three. When Lee DeWyze traveled home in the final weeks of American Idol he performed for a crowd of 41,000 in Arlington Heights, Illinois. On May 26, 2010 Lee DeWyze won American Idol season nine. His first single is "Beautiful Day" originally performed by U2. His first album is due in stores in October 2010.
Musical Style of Lee DeWyze:
Lee DeWyze was considered primarily a rock performer on American Idol, but he also has a strong singer-songwriter stylistic influence. He has Cat Stevens lyrics tattooed on his arm and also considers Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, and Simon & Garfunkel to be strong influences. In addition to playing the guitar and singing, Lee DeWyze plays drums.