Michael Johns (singer)

Michael Johns (singer)
Michael Johns

Michael Johns at the American Idol, Season 7, Top 12 party on 6 March 2008.
Background information
Birth name Michael John Lee
Born 20 October 1978 (1978-10-20) (age 33)
Perth, Australia
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Pop, pop rock, soul, soft rock, rock
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Years active 2000–present
Labels Beverly Martel Music
Maverick Records
TRP records
Downtown Records (2009–present)
Associated acts Brooke White, The Rising

Michael Johns (born 20 October 1978 as Michael John Lee[1]) is an Australian singer-songwriter who finished in eighth place on the seventh season of a United States television series, American Idol, in 2008.



Early life

Johns was born Michael John Lee in Perth, Western Australia. He attended Newman College. As a teenager, Michael John Lee appeared as The Coachman in Pinocchio at the Regal Theatre and was a choir singer in Anything Goes at His Majesty’s Theatre.[2]

He moved to the United States in 1998 on a tennis scholarship and majored in drama at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.[1][3] He then lived in Atlanta, Georgia for six years, performing at local venues. He also played Australian rules football for the USAFL club Atlanta Kookaburras.[4][5] He currently resides in Los Angeles, California with his Texan wife, Stacey Vuduris, who is an interior designer.


After traveling to Los Angeles to showcase for a number of labels in 2001, he formed a rock band called The Rising, where he met his long time girlfriend Jill Stephens,[6] and performed on several television shows.[7] and at the opening of a Los Angeles Apple Store in 2003. The Rising produced an iTunes album Future Unknown. Although a number of the tracks received some airplay on radio in 2003,[8] the album was not released on iTunes until he was on American Idol.

American Idol


Johns auditioned for American Idol Season 7 at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium in July 2007. At 28 years old, it was his first audition and last year of eligibility. He claimed to be an avid American Idol fan (having watched this show since the beginning[9]) and was one of the first non-US citizens to make the Top 12. He finished eighth place in the Season 7 competition.[10][11]


Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Top 24 (12 Men) 1960s "Light My Fire" The Doors 12 Safe
Top 20 (10 Men) 1970s "Go Your Own Way" Fleetwood Mac 1 Safe
Top 16 (8 Men) 1980s "Don't You (Forget About Me)" Simple Minds 5 Safe
Top 12 Lennon/McCartney "Across the Universe" The Beatles 10 Safe
Top 11 The Beatles "A Day in the Life" The Beatles 4 Safe
Top 10 Year They Were Born "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions" Queen 6 Safe
Top 9 Dolly Parton "It's All Wrong But It's All Right" Dolly Parton 9 Safe
Top 8 Inspirational Music "Dream On" Aerosmith 1 Eliminated


Following the show Johns performed on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008 which toured 53 cities from 1 July 2008 to 13 September 2008.

Shaun White's documentary DVD Don't Look Down features Johns singing all but one track, along with Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth. Released on 1 January 2009 by Three Rings Project it consists of 17 songs, 10 of which are vocal.[12]

Johns released a song, "Another Christmas," on 12 December 2008, which he penned in 2006 when circumstances kept him from returning to his native Australia for Christmas. Proceeds from the song were advertised as going to the Red Cross and MDA's ALS division.[13] In 2009, he released a single called Heart on my Sleeve and an album titled Hold back my Heart, which has sold 20,000 copies.[14]



Release Date Artist Album Label No. of Tracks
2001 Film Rolling Projector Records 6 tracks
16 September 2003 The Rising Future Unknown Maverick 11 tracks
26 August 2003 Live at the Apple Store 5 tracks (EP)
2007 Michael Johns Michael Johns[15] - 12 tracks
2008 Another Christmas TRP records 1 track
2009 Don't Look Down – The Height of Competition 17 tracks

Downtown Records

Year Album details Peak Certifications
(sales threshold)
US[16] US
2009 Hold Back My Heart 97 12
  • US sales: 20,000


Year Title Chart Positions Album
2009 "Life Is Okay" (feat. Brooke White) Don't Look Down – The Height of Competition
"Heart on My Sleeve" 22[17] Hold Back My Heart


  1. ^ a b Ho, Rodney (15 February 2008). "Michael Johns interview (updated)". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Access Atlanta). http://www.accessatlanta.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/accessatlanta/idol/entries/2008/02/15/215_talking_wit_1.html. 
  2. ^ "American Idol contestant Michael Johns dreamed of fame". www.news.com.au, PerthNow. 8 October 2008. http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23358080-5016669,00.html. [dead link]
  3. ^ ""Idol" Johns Ditched College, Last Name". TMZ. 8 October 2008. http://www.tmz.com/2008/03/07/idol-johns-ditched-college-last-name/. 
  4. ^ Sean (18 February 2008). "Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol?". World Footy News. http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20080218195156977. 
  5. ^ "Mike goes his own way". Atlanta Kookaburras Australian Rules Football Club. 27 February 2008. http://www.atlantafooty.com/content/view/168/1/. 
  6. ^ "Music Morsels: Crossroads: Michael Lee Of The Rising". www.serge.org. http://www.serge.org/musicmorsels/2003_10/musicmorsels1003.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  7. ^ "melodic.net: The Film". www.melodic.net. http://www.melodic.net/newsOne.asp?newsId=1905. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  8. ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". www.fmqb.com. http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=16771. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  9. ^ Michael Johns dishes on his 'American Idol' journey, surprise ouster
  10. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24054892/
  11. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1585223/20080411/jordin_sparks.jhtml
  12. ^ Interview: Rye Randa Discusses Shaun White's Don't Look Down
  13. ^ Michael Johns To Release Christmas Song In Aid of ALS & Red Cross
  14. ^ Idol Chatter 01-15-2010 "The best-selling Idol albums from 2009"
  15. ^ Michael Johns on allmusic.com
  16. ^ a b http://www.billboard.com/artist/michael-johns/364437#/album/michael-johns/hold-back-my-heart/1260340
  17. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200#/song/michael-johns/heart-on-my-sleeve/13376174

External links

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