David Cook’s singing career began long before he took home the coveted winner position on the seventh season of American Idol. At the tender age of seven David sang the solo in his elementary school choir performance. The first of many performances, David became the star of virtually every performance put on by his school choir.
David continued to perform through high school, stretching his vocal chords in a variety of roles including ‘West Side Story’ and ‘The Music Man.’ While he continued to develop and hone his vocal craft in the choir, his work in the high school drama department instilled in him a love for performing. He later combined these two talents to wow a nation of viewers as well as the Idol judges.
David took his vocal and performance skills to the next level when he was a junior in high school. He became the lead singer and guitarist for the band Axium. His talent was not overlooked, as AMC Theatres picked up their single ‘Hold’ and played it before the previews on each of their 20,000 screens.
David continued to sing with Axium through college. He attended the University of Central Missouri on a theater scholarship, though he later abandoned that major in favor of graphic arts. In 2006, he left Axium and joined up as the Vocalist for Midwest Kings. This move allowed David to spend more time on the stage, as the Midwest Kings heavily toured throughout the region. During this time the constant performances allowed David to finally discover his vocal style. David settled on an arena rock sound, enhancing his natural vocal resonance with raspy rock growls.
Knowing your voice may be the take-home lesson David has proven successful, but it didn’t come without consequences. He performed the Beatle’s ‘Eleanor Rigby’ on American Idol, but a controversy arose when it was revealed he did not use the Beatle’s arrangement of the song, but instead used his own version based on the arrangements of Neil Zaza and Doxology. Despite this, critics, including the hard-to-please Simon Cowell, concluded David made the right choice by choosing arrangements that fit his unique vocal abilities.
While David’s career is far from over, he still holds many of the lessons he learned on the American Idol stage to heart. No matter how scathing the judges’ reviews were, he took the criticism only as constructive and used it to further improve his singing. He credits the Idol vocal coaches with helping break down the final wall that was between him and his audience, finally allowing his voice to connect his emotions to those of his listeners.