Members: Chris Daughtry, Josh Paul, Josh Steely, Brian Craddock, Robin Diaz
Hometown: McLeansville, NC
Awards: Five American Music Awards, Six Billboard Music Awards, Grammy nominated
Albums: Daughtry, Leave This Town, Break the Spell
Hits: “It’s Not Over,” “Home,” “Over You,” “No Surprise,” “Feels Like Tonight”
As a frustrated amateur musician, Chris Daughtry looked at the American Idol stage as his big chance to finally break through as a performer. While contestants like Bo Bice and Constantine Maroulis laid the groundwork for a rocker's success on the show, Daughtry was able to strike a mainstream chord with his mixture of alternative rock and pop rock influences. After he was voted off as the fourth runner-up on the show, some fans suspected that a conspiracy was afoot, but Daughtry would have the last laugh by becoming one of the most successful post-American Idol contestants since the show's inception.
Daughtry got his musical start in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he sang with local rock bands and played with myriad groups over the years. After years of performing at state fairs and local dive bars, Daughtry knew that he needed to break out of his funk and realize his rock and roll aspirations.
After making a huge impact on American Idol and gaining a legion of fans, Daughtry had a slew of job offers on the table from bands seeking a front man, but he opted to go in his own direction. He formed his own band, called Daughtry, which allowed him to play his own brand of alternative rock with catchy pop melodies.
After signing with RCA Records, the band's first self-titled album dropped in 2006 and capitalized on Daughtry's success on the Idol stage. The album would remain in the Top 10 for months and the single, "It's Not Over," received plenty of airplay on rock and pop stations alike. Daughtry proved not only to be one of the most successful post-Idol debuts, but it was one of the top rock albums of 2006.
After the blockbuster success of their first album, the band went back into the studio and came out with 2009's Leave This Town. The album didn't deviate from the band's trademark style and was well-received by fans.
As one of the biggest recording artists in America, Chris Daughtry has sparked a resurgence in modern rock and made soaring guitar riffs and thunderous choruses popular again. He's already bested many of his Idol contemporaries and the sky seems to be the limit for his musical growth.