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Kris Allen

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Kris Allen

Kris Allen

Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Early Life and Music:

Kris Allen was born June 21, 1985 in Jacksonville, Arkansas. He taught himself to play guitar at the age of 13 and can play multiple instruments. In 2007, he self-produced an album titled Brand New Shoes with friends Michael Holmes and Chase Erwin.

Kris Allen's Church Missionary Work:

Kris Allen is a worship leader at New Life Church in Maumelle, Arkansas. He has been involved in missionary work around the world including Burma, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Spain, and Thailand. Much of his musical background is connected with his church experiences.

American Idol Contestant:

Kris Allen auditioned for American Idol in Louisville, Kentucky singing the song "A Song For You." During Hollywood week, he performed in a group that included Matt Giraud, one of the last five finalists. Early on, Kris Allen was not considered one of the favorites to make it near the finale. However, his reputation as one of the top finalists has grown throughout the competition. On May 20, 2009, Kris Allen was announced as the winner of 2009's American Idol.

The Style of Kris Allen:

Kris Allen has been compared to the singer-songwriter style of Jason Mraz. He creates a number of his own arrangements and has performed multiple times with his guitar. Many consider Kris Allen to be the dark horse stealth contestant for season eight.

First Album After 'American Idol':

Kris Allen went to work on an album set for release in November 2009 while still on the American Idols tour. Among the names mentioned as working with Kris Allen are Claude Kelly, co-writer of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You," David Hodges, former songwriter for the band Evanescence, Toby Gad, writer of Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry," and Joe King of The Fray. One collaborator who might bring more of an urban sound is Salaam Remi who has worked with Amy Winehouse. Kris Allen is also reportedly working with fellow American Idol veteran Chris Daughtry. The first single from the album is "Live Like We're Dying."

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