David James Archuleta (born December 28, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter. At ten years old he won the children's division of the Utah Talent Competition leading to other television singing appearances. At twelve, he became the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2. In 2007, at sixteen years old, he became one of the youngest finalists on the seventh season of American Idol. In May 2008 he finished as the runner-up, receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes.

In August 2008 Archuleta released "Crush", the first single from his self-titled debut album. The album, released in November 2008, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart; as of May 2009, it had sold over 700,000 copies in the United States. Archuleta released his second studio album The Other Side of Down in October 2010

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Archuleta was born in Miami, Florida, to Jeff Archuleta and Lupe Marie, a salsa singer and dancer. He speaks Spanish. Archuleta's mother is from Honduras, while his father is of Spanish, Danish, Irish, German, and Iroquois descent. His father said, "kamikaze sunk Gramp's ship at iwo Jima 300 died, my kids being 5/8 spanish 1/8 danish 1/16 Irish german each 1/8 mix incl iroquois indian." Archuleta has four siblings. Archuleta's family moved to the Salt Lake Valley, to the city of Sandy, Utah, when Archuleta was six. He currently lives in Murray, Utah where he attended Murray High School. Archuleta is a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

Archuleta started singing at age six, inspired by a Les Misérables video. "That musical is what started all of this", he said. He started performing publicly at age ten when he participated in the Utah Talent Competition singing "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton; he received a standing ovation and won the Child Division.

Archuleta was inspired by watching both Tamyra Gray and Kelly Clarkson to "see what performing and really getting into a song was like" during the beginning weeks of the premiere season of American Idol. He later made his television debut, at eleven years old, singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" on The Jenny Jones Show show for future Latino stars alongside season 1 finalist A.J. Gil. Through A.J. Gil he was able to meet and sing for Gray who had sung the song on American Idol as well as Clarkson (that year's winner) and Justin Guarini (the runner up).

Musical Influences[edit | edit source]

Archuleta's mother is from Honduras, and much of the music he listened to as a child was Latin-influenced including watching his mom sing at events with her sisters. She also "was big on dancing" according to Archuleta, and would "make" him dance to traditional music with his older sister. He also listened to jazz music, he said, from his father's collection as well as gospel, pop, rock and "soulful music." In a later interview, he revealed that his father was a jazz musician. Archuleta also said he enjoys Broadway musicals.

On his American Idol "Fast Facts" page, Archuleta cited his musical influences as Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin and Bryan Adams. When he listed his top pop music artists, he cited Natasha Bedingfield, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams, Kirk Franklin, and Robbie Williams. Like Elliott Yamin and another singer he admires, John Mayer, Archuleta tries to infuse his pop selections with a soulful vibe. In a Seventeen interview he cites Sara Bareilles as a clever singer-songwriter he looks up to.

American Idol[edit | edit source]

Overview[edit | edit source]

Archuleta won his ticket to the Hollywood final auditions at the San Diego tryouts - held at Qualcomm Stadium at the end of July 2007 - with a performance of John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" with judge Randy Jackson spontaneously joining in to sing the background "waiting" in the song.He was 16 during the Hollywood auditions (where his renditions of Bryan Adams' "Heaven" and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" were well-received by the judges) and attended school while a part of American Idol's seventh season. His parents were there because he was a minor. Archuleta also took advantage of the decision to allow contestants to play musical instruments when he accompanied himself on piano for his performances of "Crazy", "Another Day in Paradise", and "Angels".

A Los Angeles Times article speculated that Archuleta avoided singing the first verse of "Imagine": because "of his religion (Mormonism), he's unlikely to espouse the song's agnostic ideal . . . with the line about 'no religion too.'"[31] Archuleta did, however, sing the entire song on Good Things Utah when he was 13. During his first performance of "Imagine" on American Idol, when asked by judge Randy Jackson why he didn't sing the first verse, Archuleta said the third verse was his favorite because it has "a great message."

After his performance of "We Can Work It Out", which judge Simon Cowell called "a mess", Entertainment Tonight reported that Archuleta was feeling pressure from his father, Jeff Archuleta, who "reportedly yelled at" his son after a recording session the previous night. Jeff Archuleta, in an interview with Us Weekly, denied the claim.[33][34] A May 2008 Associated Press article reported that Jeff Archuleta had his son add a lyric from the Sean Kingston song "Beautiful Girls" into a rendition of "Stand by Me" (from which "Beautiful Girls" samples its bass line), increasing the costs for licensing, and that this had resulted in Jeff Archuleta being banned from American Idol backstage rehearsals. David defended his father calling him "a great guy" who keeps him grounded.

During the Top 7 results show, the contestants were split into two groups. In one group was Syesha Mercado, Brooke White, and Kristy Lee Cook. In the other group was David Cook, Carly Smithson, and Jason Castro. Archuleta was the only one not sorted into a group. He was declared safe after the groups were formed, then was asked to choose the group he thought was safe. He refused, and sat down on the floor of the stage, much like Melinda Doolittle had done the previous season.

In the finale he sang "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "In This Moment" and "Imagine". Judge Simon Cowell declared that Archuleta won the evening and even David Cook, who ultimately won, thought Archuleta would win: "I have to concede it, the kid came out all three songs and nailed it", said Cook. In the final tally, Archuleta received 44 percent of the votes. During the finale show, identical commercials featuring Archuleta and fellow finalist Cook mimicked the Tom Cruise scene from Risky Business where he dances in his underwear playing an air guitar; they were promoting the game franchise Guitar Hero.

After American Idol[edit | edit source]

In June 2008, Archuleta signed with Jive Records. His self-titled album, David Archuleta, was released on November 11th 2008. Archuleta's first single "Crush" was released on August 1, 2008 on Z100, a New York radio station. On August 12 "Crush" became available on iTunes. It debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, beaten only by Rihanna's "Disturbia". It was the best chart debut in more than 18 months. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the track sold 166,000 downloads in the first week in the United States. It has sold 1.5 million digital copies in the US.

The three songs he performed in the American Idol finale; "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "In This Moment", and "Imagine", debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of June 7, 2008. "Imagine" entered at #36 (giving Archuleta his first top forty hit), "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" at #58, and "In This Moment" entered at #60. That same week he landed three songs on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, where his versions of "Longer", "Think of Me", and "Angels" debuted at #15, #19, and #24 respectively. In July 2008 So You Think You Can Dance, a dance competition reality show, Archuleta's cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon was the featured music for contestants Katee Shean and William Wingfield with their pas de deux performance.

Along with American Idol winner David Cook, Archuleta placed second on Forbes' list of "Breakout Stars of 2008".[56] The two co-presented an award at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards in August 2008. Archuleta also received the Teen Choice Award surfboard for "Most Fanatic Fans".

Since the release of his debut album, Archuleta has released 3 new songs: Let's Talk About Love (The Build-A-Bear theme song), Save the Day, and Zero Gravity.

On February 18, 2009, it was announced that Archuleta will be touring the United Kingdom supporting English band McFly on their upcoming "Up Close...And This Time It's Personal" tour. The tour begins on April 21, 2009 and will continue throughout April and May.

Archuleta will be the opening act for Demi Lovato on her tour beginning June 21, 2009.

On April 30, 2009, David made his first UK Television appearance, on the Paul O'Grady Show, performing "Crush" and chatting about his album, which will be released there on May 11.

On May 12, 2009, Archuleta, together with fellow American Idol winner David Cook, visited the Philippines. Two days later, the former made his live appearance on two of GMA-7's shows, Sis and Eat Bulaga.

Second Album and release from Jive Records[edit | edit source]

On October 5, 2010, Archuleta released his second studio album, The Other Side of Down, which featured the single "Something 'Bout Love". However, on February 18, 2011 Jive Records annouced that Archuleta had been released from his contract with the label. Archuleta also parted ways with Wright Management Group, which had been managing his career. In December 2011, Archuleta announced that he was putting his career on hold to work on a two-year Mormon mission, which he returned from on March 24, 2014. He posted his return announcement on his YouTube channel.

New music[edit | edit source]

During his two-year Mormon mission, an album consisting of one original song and nine covers recorded before Archuleta left called Begin was released on August 7, 2012. Another album he did, No Matter How Far, was released on March 26, 2013. He also released an album only in the Phillipines called Forevermore on March 26, 2012.

Official Account[edit | edit source]

Discography[edit | edit source]


  •  David Archuleta (2008)
  • Christmas From the Heart (2009)
  •  The Other Side of Down (2010)
  •  Forevermore (2012) (Phillipines only)
  •  Begin (2012)
  •  No Matter How Far (2013)


Season 7
David Cook · David Archuleta · Syesha Mercado  · Jason Castro · Brooke White · Carly Smithson · Kristy Lee Cook · Michael Johns · Ramiele Malubay · Chikezie · Amanda Overmyer · David Hernandez
Danny Noriega · Asia'h Epperson · Luke Menard · Kady Malloy · Robbie Carrico · Alaina Whitaker · Alexandréa Lushington · Jason Yeager · Colton Berry · Joanne Borgella · Amy Davis · Garrett Haley


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.