Caleb Perry Johnson (born April 23, 1991) is an American rock singer from Asheville, North Carolina who won Season 13 of American Idol.

Background[edit | edit source]

Caleb, who is from Asheville, North Carolina, became the lead singer of a band called Elijah Hooker in 2010. They released their self-titled debut album in 2013. He also had previously tried out for Idol before, having tried out for both season 10 and season 11.

American Idol[edit | edit source]

Having tried out twice before (season 10 and season 11), Caleb gave the show another go when he auditioned in Atlanta singing an original song he wrote called "Into the Void". He made it to Hollywood where he did well, even singing with Tyler Ahlgren, Matthew Hamel, and CJ Harris in the group round. He made the top 30 where he sang "Stay with Me" by the Faces, which had previously been covered by Skylar Laine during season 11. The public loved it and voted Caleb through to the top 13 where he sang "Pressure and Time" by Rival Sons for "This Is Me" week. He made it to the top 12 as a result of his performance, which earned him praise.

For "Home" week, Caleb took on "Working Man" by one of his favorite bands, Rush. He earned praise for his performance and made it to the next week.

For "Songs from The Movies" week, Caleb sang "Skyfall" by Adele from the 2012 James Bond movie of the same name. While his choice of song did worry some of his fans at first, his performance of it wowed the judges, who gave him praise, and the public, who voted him through to the next week, resulting in him making the American Idols Live tour.

For "Billboard Top 10" week, Caleb sang "The Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga, which baffled some fans because of it being a big-time pop song. Caleb, who rearranged it to suit his vocal style, received praise from the judges for taking a risk with the song, and he made it to the next week.

For "I'm with the Band" week, Caleb took on the Jake Holmes song "Dazed and Confused", which wowed the judges and the public. He made it through to the next week.

Caleb and Jessica Meuse

For "Back to the Start" week, instead of singing his original song "Into The Void", which is the song viewers saw Caleb sing in his audition when it aired, he sang his other audition song, "Chain of Fools" by Aretha Franklin. He changed it up to suit his style and got a positive reaction from the judges, who all loved it even though Harry Connick, Jr. did suggest to Caleb that he sing a song that showcased his softer side. He then teamed with Jessica Meuse on the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty classic "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".

For "Songs from the 80s Week", Caleb gave it his all on the Journey classic "Faithfully", which did showcase his softer side, despite being sick. He recevied praise from the judges and later teamed up with Jena Irene on the Bryan Adams/Tina Turner duet "It's Only Love", delighting fans who had been begging for a Caleb/Jena duet for a while. His rendition of "Faithfully" peaked at number 9 on the iTunes Rock chart.

For "Competitior's Choice" week, Caleb's roommate, Alex Preston, chose "Family Tree" by Kings of Leon for him to sing. The performance earned him praise from the judges, who all told him that they loved it. Later on, he and Jena teamed up for their rendition of the Rolling Stones' classic "Gimme Shelter", which caused fans to go into a frenzy on social media.

Performances[edit | edit source]

Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "Into the Void" (original composition) Caleb Johnson N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round A Capella "Sympathy for the Devil" The Rolling Stones N/A
Group Performance "Too Close"
with Tyler Ahlgren, Matthew Hamel, and C.J. Harris[edit | edit source]
Alex Clare N/A
Solo "Radioactive" Imagine Dragons N/A
Top 31 (10 Men) Personal Choice "Stay with Me" Faces 1
Top 13 This Is Me "Pressure and Time" Rival Sons 13 Safe
Top 12 Home "Working Man" Rush 6
Top 11 Songs from the Cinema "Skyfall" Adele 7
Top 10 Billboard Top 10 "The Edge of Glory" Lady Gaga 6
Top 9 I'm with the Band! "Dazed and Confused" Jake Holmes 6
Top 8 Back to the Start Duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
with Jessica Meuse
Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 5
Solo "Chain of Fools" Aretha Franklin 11
Top 8 Songs from the 1980s Solo "Faithfully" Journey 12
Duet "It's Only Love"
with Jena Irene
Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 5
Top 7 Competitors' Choice Duet "Gimme Shelter"
with Jena Irene
The Rolling Stones 6
Solo "Family Tree" Kings of Leon 1
Top 6 Rock 'n' Roll "Sting Me" The Black Crowes 5
Country "Undo It" Carrie Underwood 8
Top 5 America's Requests Solo "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Aerosmith 2
Duet "Beast of Burden"
with Jessica Meuse
The Rolling Stones 7
Solo "Still of the Night" Whitesnake 12
Top 4 Love Songs "You Give Love a Bad Name" Bon Jovi 1
"Travelin' Band" Creedence Clearwater Revival 5
"Maybe I'm Amazed" Paul McCartney 9
Top 3 Randy Jackson's Choice "Never Tear Us Apart" INXS 1
Judges' Choice "Demons" Imagine Dragons 4
Hometown's Choice "Dazed and Confused" Jake Holmes 7
Finale Simon Fuller's Choice "Dream On" Aerosmith 2 Winner
Reprisal Song "Maybe I'm Amazed" Paul McCartney 4
Winner's Single "As Long as You Love Me" Caleb Johnson 6

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Post Idol[edit | edit source]

Caleb was a part of the 2014 American Idols tour, which kicked off in Binghamton, New York on June 24, 2014. His debut album, Testify, was released on August 12, 2014. He got to sing the National Anthem at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. on May 25, 2014. He was even runner-up Jena Irene's date to her senior prom, which they attended on May 28, 2014 in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He debuted a new song, "No Fighting Gravity", during a concert in Uniondale, New York on July 11, 2014.

After parting ways with Interscope in 2015, Caleb began working on his first EP independently, which he hopes to release sometime in 2016. The first single off of it is called "Holding On". It was released on February 9, 2016. He also launched a fundraising campaign via Pledge Music on February 18, 2016.

Feud with David Cook[edit | edit source]

During an August 14, 2014 interview with Yahoo! Music's Lyndsey Parker, Caleb sparked an outrage when he called himself the first "real rocker" to win Idol and dismissed season 7 winner David Cook, claiming that Cook never sang songs by artists such as Led Zepplin during his time on the show. The comments angered many of Cook's fans, who made it clear that Cook did sing music by artists such as Chris Cornell and Our Lady Peace and even rearranged several songs, most notably "Always Be My Baby" by Mariah Carey, to suit his musical style, which is hard rock and alternative rock. Even season 4 runner-up Bo Bice tweeted his support for Cook, calling him a "rockin' spirit brother". Cook himself responded to Caleb's comments by playing a bit of the BIll WIthers song "Use Me" before singing a mash-up of "Rock 'N Roll/Whole Lotta Love" at his August 16, 2014 concert in Kokomo, Indiana. Many criticized Caleb for starting the feud with Cook in order to sell records.

Official Account[edit | edit source]

Discography[edit | edit source]

with Elijah Hooker:

  •  Elijah Hooker (2013)


  • TBA (2016)

Solo Albums:

  •  Testify (2014)


Season 13
Caleb Johnson ·Jena Irene ·Alex Preston ·Jessica Meuse ·Sam Woolf ·CJ Harris ·Dexter Roberts ·Malaya Watson ·Majesty Rose ·MK Nobilette ·Ben Briley ·Emily Piriz ·Kristen O'Connor
Bria Anai ·Spencer Lloyd ·Malcolm Allen ·George Lovett ·Briana Oakley ·Marrialle Sellars ·Emmanuel Zidor
Jordan Brisbane ·Andrina Brogden ·Kenzie Hall ·Ethan Harris ·Jillian Jensen ·Briston Maroney ·Brandy Neelly ·Casey Thrasher ·Maurice Townsend ·Austin Wolfe
American Idol
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19
Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9)  · Paula Abdul (Seasons 1-8) · Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-12) · Kara DioGuardi (Seasons 8-9) · Ellen DeGeneres (Season 9) · Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11)  · Nicki Minaj (Season 12)  · Mariah Carey (Season 12) · Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11,13-15)  · Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)  · Harry Connick, Jr. (Seasons 13-15)  · Katy Perry (Seasons 16-)  · Luke Bryan (Seasons 16-)  · Lionel Richie (Seasons 16-)
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-16) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
Kelly Clarkson · Ruben Studdard · Fantasia Barrino · Carrie Underwood · Taylor Hicks · Jordin Sparks · David Cook · Kris Allen · Lee DeWyze · Scotty McCreery · Phillip Phillips · Candice Glover · Caleb Johnson · Nick Fradiani · Trent Harmon · Maddie Poppe · Laine Hardy · Just Sam
Justin Guarini · Clay Aiken · Diana DeGarmo · Bo Bice · Katharine McPhee · Blake Lewis · David Archuleta · Adam Lambert · Crystal Bowersox · Lauren Alaina · Jessica Sanchez · Kree Harrison · Jena Irene · Clark Beckham · La'Porsha Renae · Caleb Lee Hutchinson · Alejandro Aranda · Arthur Gunn
Coronation Songs
"A Moment Like This" · "Flying Without Wings" · "I Believe" · "Inside Your Heaven" · "Do I Make You Proud" · "This Is My Now" · "The Time of My Life" · "No Boundaries" · "Beautiful Day" · "I Love You This Big" · "Home" · "I Am Beautiful" · "As Long As You Love Me" · "Beautiful Life" · "Falling" · "Going Going Gone" · "Flame"
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