Live Music on Saturday, September 8th is American Idol Winner, Philip Phillips.
Phillips was born in Albany, Georgia to Sheryl (Jacks) and Phillip LaDon “Donnie” Phillips, Sr. He has two older sisters, LaDonna, the eldest, and Lacey Phillips. He grew up in Sasser and Leesburg, and attended Lee County High School. He graduated from Albany Technical College with a major in Industrial Systems Technology, but missed the graduation ceremony due to his obligations to American Idol. Prior to appearing on American Idol, he worked at his family’s pawn shop.
Philip started playing music, particularly the guitar when he was 14. He was mentored by his long-time friend and brother-in-law, Benjamin Neil, whom he credits for piquing his interest in music. In 2009, he formed the Phillip Phillips Band with Neil and another brother-in-law, Todd Urick, and performed in various local venues and at events. He won a local singing competition, “Albany Star,” in 2010.
He grew up mainly listening to ’60s and ’70s music like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. “Then as I got older I found Damien Rice and Dave Matthews and John Butler, which is what really set it off for me in terms of finding my voice as a musician.” He has described his music as “jazz and rock alternative sound.”
Prior to trying out for American Idol, he also auditioned on the second season of America’s Got Talent.
His coronation song, “Home,” was a great success with sales of over 5 million copies in the US. It has been used in NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, L.A. Marathon, various commercials, film trailers, and TV shows. Phillip has performed on The Today Show and Good Morning America Concert Series, Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live With Kelly, The View, Conan. He has also appeared on the American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards.