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Reality bites back

Goodbye Paula, hello Clive; Chris Daughtry turns 'Idol' loss into a win


Former American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry shows - off his best b-boy stance.
  • Former American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry shows off his best b-boy stance.

Chris Daughtry never really worried that he had just seen his big shot at a music career slip away when he was voted off of "American Idol" last season.

"I didn't feel like that," Daughtry says. "It was definitely a shock to me at that moment in time. You're in a contest, and you get to a point where you want to win it. That's why you got in it. And then when that didn't happen it was like, "Oh.' So you have to kind of rethink your game plan a little bit."

Maybe on the inside, Daughtry knew all wasn't lost. But he couldn't have predicted how losing on "Idol" was going to be beneficial for his rock 'n roll career.

The outcry over Daughtry losing hadn't settled before it became clear just how big an impression the early frontrunner had made.

"It took me about two days to get over it," Daughtry says. "I was like, "You know what? Keep going with it and move on.' Next thing you know, Clive Davis wanted to meet with me, and the rest is history."

Davis is, of course, the legendary head of RCA Records. He's had huge success in signing other "Idol" winners and stars, including Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Fantasia Barrino. He certainly must have recognized that the groundswell of support for Daughtry and the publicity that surrounded his departure from "Idol" made the singer a hot commodity.

Several months after that defining moment on "Idol" last May, both Daughtry and Davis have come out smelling like roses. Daughtry's self-titled first CD debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart after its Nov. 21 release. In just five short weeks, the disc topped a million in sales. And in four more weeks, it moved up to No. 1.

Not bad for a guy who actually tried out and was rejected by another music talent show, "Rock Star: INXS," before auditioning for "American Idol." Getting nowhere playing in local bands around Greensboro, N.C., Daughtry, 27, rightfully saw television as a way to get discovered.

"It was very difficult to get the exposure that I needed to make it where I was from," Daughtry says.

The dozen songs on the Daughtry CD all but two of which were written or co-written by the singer find him staking out a melodic mainstream rock sound similar to that of 3 Doors Down, Nickelback and Creed.

Though the CD was recorded with session musicians, Daughtry has since assembled a crew of regulars to play behind him as an entire band bearing his name, la Bon Jovi. And, now Daughtry is confident that his band's sound is starting to settle.

"I wanted to make sure that they didn't feel confined to it and that they were able to kind of do their own thing with it," Daughtry says. "We kind of just change it up, because we don't want the audience or the fans to see exactly and hear exactly what they heard on the album. I want them to feel like they walked away with something different, or even better, than the album."

Daughtry with Eve to Adam and Cinder Road

The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: Sold out; look for tickets near the venue.

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