At this point, most people see American Idol as last decade’s phenomena. The show’s contestants are typically forgettable, the group performances are laughable, and the recent decision to add divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj has many former fans more willing to slam their faces into a brick wall than to watch the upcoming season.
In reality, the show hasn’t launched a star since Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, Season 8’s winner and runner-up respectively from the Winter 2009 season. It could be further argued that there haven’t been true stars since Season 4’s winner Carrie Underwood…but let’s not be petty, okay?
However, a contestant from the 2012 season is still managing to make headlines in his post-season endeavors.
Enter 21-year-old Colton Dixon: Season 11 finalist and Season 10 contestant.
We all remember Colton…the adorable punk-rock kid from Murfreesboro, Tennessee with the funky hair and a penchant for worship. Yes, I used the phrases “punk-rock” and “worship” in the same sentence.
It works for him. Dixon has never been shy about his position as a Devout Christian since his first appearance on the show back in 2011. He has a way of being open about his religious beliefs without being too excessive or preachy, therefore not alienating the secular side of his fan base. By such, Dixon was able to amass a large following of Messengers—the term coined by Dixon to reference his fans—from all sorts of backgrounds and affiliations.
The same principle rings true in Dixon’s music. Featuring that rock sound that is so rarely featured on Idol stages, much of Dixon’s music carries with it a Christian message, but lightly enough that even the staunchest of Atheists can listen to it without developing a sour feeling in their tummies. It’s the same principle that has allowed other Christian Rock artists like Switchfoot, Flyleaf, Lifehouse, and Skillet to rise to fame on mainstream radio and television stations. Those wanting to worship and reflect can while listening to Dixon’s music, while those just wanting a good tune can rock out without a care.
Dixon’s debut single, “Never Gone” was released to iTunes on September 25th, 2012 to warm reviews, peaking at #113 on the US Charts and #1 on the US Christian Charts. The single was written by Dixon himself to sum up his Idol experience. “There were times when I felt like I was by myself, or just felt unplugged from reality,” explains Dixon, whose younger sister, Schyler, auditioned with him for the show but was cut in the preliminary rounds. “There were even times when I asked God if he was still there. He always answered, ‘I was never gone.’”
Dixon—who has been signed to Sparrow Records—has confirmed that his second single, “You Are” will be released to iTunes on October 30th, 2012. It was released to major Internet radio station Air1radio.com on September 13th, 2012 and became the most-aired song in station history just one day after release, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The single hit radio airwaves on October 19th, 2012, Dixon’s 21st birthday. It has been named the “Song Of The Week” by USA Today.
Dixon’s highly-anticipated debut album—appreciatively titled “The Messenger”—is expected to be released on February 12th, 2013.
You can keep up with all of the latest Colton Dixon news by following him on Twitter.