Monday, August 30, 2010

Crystal Bowersox Honors her Hometown! Sings "HOLY TOLEDO" at Idols LIVE!!

American Idol Season 9 runner-up (and the winner in the eyes of her hometown crowd!) Crystal Bowersox had a surprise in store for all her fans who showed up when the Idols LIVE! Tour came to Crystal's native Toledo, Ohio to play the Huntington Center on August 29th, 2010. Crystal sang an original song ~ a very emotional rendition of "Holy Toledo" to her hometown Fans, and dedicated it to a friend who just passed, Mark Brink, the writer of "The Saddest Song That I Never Wrote." "Holy Toledo" replaced Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain" in Crystal's set, and was the first time, ever, that an Idol performed an original song on the Idols LIVE! Tour. The Fans seemingly loved it, and to use an apt metaphor, "The crowd went wild!" Or as one man tweeted, "all 40 year old males are going berserk!!"

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Crystal Bowersox @ Staples Center singing to her son

American Idol's Crystal Bowersox sings Melissa Etheridge's "Come to My Window" to her son Tony, who was being held by a friend, right behind the videographer.

LAST 3 NIGHTS!!! See Crystal Bowersox in Concert! Get American Idol Live tickets - Click Here!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

TONIGHT!!! CRYSTAL BOWERSOX Fundraiser, WIN 2 TICKETS TO IDOLS LIVE 8/29, singalong welcome for Elliston ‘Idol’

Fans plan fundraiser, singalong welcome for Elliston ‘Idol’
Written by Kristen Rapin | |

MamaSox Nation and MamaSox Village Idiots are hosting an Aug. 28 pre-“American Idol” Live gathering in honor of Crystal Bowersox’s return to Northwest Ohio.

“We wanted to do this grass-roots for her. We thought it would be a great thing to do because this is really her homecoming and it’s not just the show itself,” said Jeff Bridge, of Tucson, Ariz., a member of the Village Idiots’ “Boared” who will be at the event.

The gathering will be the final day of the Sun Flower Project, an online fundraiser to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) in Bowersox’s name. All funds raised during the evening will benefit JDRF.


“I definitely approve, but I’m not running it … I think it’s all good intentions and I’m all for it,” Bowersox said in a message to Toledo Free Press about the project.

Bowersox and the “American Idol Live!” tour come to the Huntington Center on Aug. 29.

Members of MamaSox Nation started the Sun Flower Project to raise money from June until Bowersox’s Toledo tour date. The Village Idiots, whose goal is to function as a fan partnership with Bowersox, assisting her causes and charitable endeavors, paired with MamaSox Nation for the evening to help raise money for the project.

“We want to help them raise as much money as we can that night, help them reach their original goal,” Bridge said. “We really want to help the Sun Flower Project finish strong.”

Approximately $1,200 has been raised for the Sun Flower Project and the groups hope to raise more money during the pre-show event, according to Michelle Reed, one individual in charge of the project.

The groups will raffle off signed Bowersox T-shirts, as well as a signed Bowersox pendant, Bridge said. The evening will also be live streamed online for those who cannot attend, he said. As part of the pre-show party Toledo Free Press will give away two tickets to the Aug. 29 “American Idol” Live! Tour for Aug. 29 to see Bowersox in concert.

“The fan club asked if they could meet here and we said yes,” said Tom Sullivan, executive chef at the Village Idiot. “Crystal played here for about a year before she was on the show. She considered this a place she started out.”

The Village Idiot will donate a portion of pizza sales to the JDRF at the end of the evening, Sullivan said. In addition to pre-show events, Andrew Ellis and the Setting Suns will play at the Village Idiot at 10 p.m.

The pre-show gathering starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 28. For more information, visit the website

‘Holy Toledo’ singalong

MamaSox Village Idiots are using social media to get individuals to come out and sing “Holy Toledo” for Crystal Bowersox as she exits the “American Idol Live!” tour bus Aug. 29.

“We want to show that we care for her and give thanks to her,” said Sydney Conover, chief graphic designer and “Boared” member for MamaSox Village Idiots. “Holy Toledo’ was a song she wrote when she was 17 before she left town. It was a song she was able to sing when she came back to Toledo and it was the first original song they allowed played on ‘Idol’.”

The group hopes to have more than 100 people commit to coming out and singing “Holy Toledo” to Bowersox as she leaves the tour bus.

The Village Idiots are asking individuals to tweet “#holytoledo It’s time to give back to Mamasox. Need 100 people to sing Holy Toledo as Crystal leaves their tour bus. LET’S GIVE BACK TO MAMA,” to get the word out about the event.

The group is still working on tentative times for everyone to come sing for Bowersox, but will let everyone know through its website and through Twitter. Words to “Holy Toledo” can be found at the MamaSox Village Idiots website forum.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crystal Bowersox to play "Power to the Peaceful" September 11th with Michael Franti!

American Idol Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox with play at this year's 12th annual "Power to the Peaceful" Concert in San Francisco with Michael Franti and Spearhead, Rebelution, Rupa & the April Fishes and many others for "3 days of Music, Art and Action"!

POWER TO THE PEACEFUL FESTIVAL is an international destination located in the heart of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park - One of the largest FREE annual, music, art and action events brings together over 50,000 attendees, 200 exhibitors, environmental and humanitarian orgs, vendors, DJs, athletes, artists and speakers.


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Chat with Crystal Bowersox

OnMedia: A Chat with Crystal Bowersox
By Tim Cuprisin, Media Columnist

This year's crop of "American Idol" finalists stop at Summerfest during their post-show tour, Idols LIVE.

And the woman who almost won, second-place finisher Crystal Bowersox, tells me she's looking forward to the outdoor venue on a hot summer night, as well as connecting with some Milwaukee friends.

"I'm a summertime girl," she says. "I like the sunshine, I like bein' all sweaty and gross."

It's the kind of answer you'd expect from the 24-year-old Bowersox, who finished just behind Lee DeWyze, the suburban Chicago singer who picked up the ninth "Idol" crown last month. From her audition and through the process that ended just two weeks ago, she's always seemed comfortable with who she is.

"I kind of agree with that statement," she tells me in a phone conversation during a break in rehearsals for the coming tour. "I've been comfortable in my skin for a long time, I know who I am as a human, as a person and a musician."

I follow up with my theory that it's, in fact, better that she finished second. Without an "Idol" recording contract, she'll have more freedom to do her music.

"I don't think by Lee winning that he has any less freedom," she says. Bowersox clearly sees a kindred spirit in the 24-year-old DeWyze.

"We're from the same school of music, singer-songwriter," she says. "I think our voices fit really well together. "

The pair did a memorable duet near the end of the competition, and while she says both are concentrating on their solo careers, she could see performing with him.

For now, she's in the very beginning stages of putting together her own solo album after signing a contract with Jive.

"We've started talks about what songs are gonna be used, what kind of vibe we want," she said.

While she was clearly comfortable on the "Idol" stage, she says her own music might be a little different.

"My original music is more lower-key, a more folky vibe," she explains. The songs are "autobiographical," and her voice is "sweeter" than the raspy tone she did in the big songs she did on the show.

While she was comfortable in those performances, it appeared that she was uncomfortable at times with the competitive nature of "American Idol."

"I would say that's a true statement. To me, music's more about expression. The idea of a competition about music is strange to me."

But she knew what she what the competition was all about when she auditioned. "It's the nature of the beast," she says.

Bowersox's advice for the next crop of "Idol" singers: "Be prepared for a lot of changes in your life. You can't just hang, with a sun-up to sun-down schedule."

Her suggestions for improving "Idol" are few. She would have liked the chance to do her own songs, and "move the band down from the risers and have them on the stage."

Other than that, she admits it's a "well-oiled machine."

After her chat, it was back to rehearsals, including those group numbers. Bowersox always looked uncomfortable in those, but says she actually enjoys them.

"Nobody believes me when I say it," she admits.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Crystal Bowersox lead Idols into Huntington Center for Toledo, Ohio Concert!

Written by Vicki L. Kroll,

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Crystal Bowersox celebrated her 25th birthday earlier this month in Tampa, Fla., another stop on the American Idols Live! Tour. There was just one gift she wanted: A visit from her 18-month-old son, Tony.

“I had my son flown to Florida so he was there with me on my birthday, and it was his first time seeing me on the big stage,” she said. “When the television show was on, he was always back in the VIP room; he never saw me perform. So it was really, really cool — had the little ear protectors on him.

“He enjoyed the whole thing, looked at the Jumbotron, looked at mommy on stage. He couldn’t quite figure it out, but he clapped for me.”

Toledo — and Tony — will get another visit with Bowersox when the Idols Tour stops at the Huntington Center on Aug. 29.

This time when her legions of fans gather at the arena, there’ll be clapping. In May, a stunned packed house watched the “American Idol” finale and saw Lee DeWyze named the winner.

“It’s going to be really cool when we get to Toledo and see familiar faces,” Bowersox said during a call before a show in San Diego. “I think [the concert is] a good thing for the whole family. There’s such a variety of music from each of the different contestants.”

Set to take the stage with Bowersox and DeWyze are the rest of the top 10 performers from season nine: Didi Benami, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Katie Stevens and Tim Urban. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show range from $38.50 to $68.50.

“No guarantees, but something might happen there; I might do something different for the hometown,” Bowersox teased.

Don’t expect to see her signature microphone stand.

“My mic stand is currently retired for now, for the summer. I traded it in for a headset so I could walk around the stage and get as close to the audience as I possibly can,” the Elliston native said.

“It’s really great to get to meet the fans and come to them,” she said. “We’re learning a lot [on the tour], but we’re having fun.”

Trying to learn about the star’s debut disc was tough. Bowersox said she didn’t want to give too much away.

“It will definitely be all-original, if not original, it’ll be co-written. I want to take part in every aspect of the album. I want to co-produce,” she said. “It’s my baby, it’s my art, so I want to be involved. It’s supposed to represent me, so I’m going to try to do that the best I can.”

Bowersox confirmed that local bassist Frankie May will record with her.

When asked if “Holy Toledo” will be on the disc, she replied, “We haven’t decided on songs yet, but songs that are most important to me will be on the album.”

The singer-songwriter then shared the story behind that track: “I was 17 sitting on a friend’s front porch, thinking about moving and wondering what else is out there. I was at a turning point in my life; I was going from, you know, teenager to a woman, and that’s when I moved to Chicago and just kind of started fulfilling my dreams and not really letting anything get in the way. I think it’s a song of hope for something better.”

And yes, she knows how to drive a stick. “When I wrote that song, I actually had a 1972 Volkswagen bus,” she said.

After the tour wraps up Aug. 31, MamaSox will return to Northwest Ohio for a few days and her favorite gig — singing to her son.

“I sing to him whenever I can,” Bowersox said. “He sings, too. He’s picking up on ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’ and he understands the difference between a low note and a higher note. He’s into it; he’s been around music since he was in the womb.”

She added, “He’s a very, very Zen baby; he’s calm, cool and collected.”

Must get that from his mom, who seems so down-to-earth.

“I grew up lower income, middle class, you know. I’ve lived a long time without much, and I realize that’s not the important stuff in life anyway, really; it’s health and happiness, and I’ve got that so I’m alright.”

ONE WEEK LEFT to see CRYSTAL LIVE!! See Crystal Bowersox in Concert! Get American Idol Live tickets - Click Here!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Crystal Bowersox interview with AJ in the Morning, Star 94.1

American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox talks with Aj in the morning, before the Idols LIVE Tour stop in San Diego, CA. Listen below:

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Crystal Bowersox Answers Fan's Twitter Questions via Video!

American Idol's Crystal Bowersox answers fan-submitted Twitter questions, during a break from the Idols LIVE concert tour, courtesy of AI Now.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Crystal Bowersox letting off steam with a Water Balloon Fight!

American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox lets off steam and has some laughs with members of The Village Idiots. Crystal and Big Mike take a little well-needed break before the Idols LIVE concert in Sacramento, CA show by having a water balloon fight!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On the road beyond 'Idol,' Crystal Bowersox still searches for a place to spread her roots


Long before the final vote, Crystal Bowersox was a winner to millions, an idol in their hearts.

She connected deeply with a wide swath of viewers: single mothers, small-town dwellers, struggling barroom entertainers and music fans. All saw the refreshing appeal of a scrappy, soulful contender - a Midwestern gal who wrote her own tunes, played an instrument with gusto (alongside a makeshift microphone stand made from an old lamp, no less) and refused to alter her salt-of-the-earth persona.

She breezed through most weeks on the latest season of American Idol, rising above country and teen-pop wannabes to land praise from the show's judging panel, including the notoriously snide Simon Cowell. He called the 24-year-old singer-guitarist "outstanding" and "the one everyone has to beat."

After advancing in May via audience-driven text and telephone votes into Idol's remaining three, she returned to Toledo a rock star. A homecoming concert dubbed "Bowerstock" attracted thousands, while an appearance before a Toledo Mud Hens game - at which she sang The Star-Spangled Banner while cradling her toddler, Tony - drew a record-breaking crowd.

She even found a fan in Gov. Ted Strickland, who, on May25, issued a news release urging Ohioans to vote for Bowersox before the Idol finale, where she performed like a natural alongside Alanis Morissette and Joe Cocker.

When the Elliston, Ohio, native came in second to soft-spoken Chicago paint salesman Lee DeWyze, she may have been the only one unfazed.

"I woke up that morning, I had a gut feeling, and I was OK with it," Bowersox said. "It was a mix between statistics and an innate feeling."

On the road through Aug.31 with the "American Idols Live!" tour (Get American Idol Live tickets Here!), she spoke by phone last week from Hershey, Pa.,

Even in defeat, Bowersox has been consistently positive. She has referred to DeWyze as a brother and a friend, a nice guy who deserves the glory.

She is excited to work on a solo album that has attracted interest from Melissa Etheridge, Linda Perry and Michael Franti.

And the woman who once had to beg for insulin at a pharmacy as a cash-strapped teenage diabetic can now provide for her own child.

"There's stability," said Bowersox, whose family is watching her son during the tour. "He's surrounded with nothing but love and support. He's having life experiences I couldn't have dreamed of having."

In her youth, Bowersox sang in taverns and blue-collar bars before sparse crowds, trying to find a place in the Toledo School for the Arts before she dropped out.

She remembers sitting on the front porch of a friend's house in Elliston, a microscopic town of about 75 residents, where she wrote Holy Toledo - a wistful ballad that has since found steady airplay on several Toledo radio stations and will likely appear on her album.

"Things weren't so well in my childhood," said Bowersox, whose parents divorced when she was 2. "I was young. I was plotting my journey to Chicago. The song was about hope for what else was out there."

She fled to the Windy City at 17, hitting the subway platforms at 4a.m. to secure a spot where musicians could legally play.

Her mix of cover songs and original fare connected with commuters. Some missed their trains to catch a few more minutes, and others would return the next day wondering, "What was that song you played?"

After becoming pregnant by a man who has since left the country, Bowersox returned to Ohio about a year ago, attending an Idol casting call in Chicago on a whim.

The judges, along with guest panelist Shania Twain, issued unanimous approval, and she was off to Hollywood.

On television, she blossomed.

"I still don't get nervous," Bowersox said. "When I walk onstage, it's time to play."

She took Cowell's criticism gracefully and worked with mentors ranging from Harry Connick Jr. to Alicia Keys.

Her matriarchal "Mama Sox" nickname became vernacular.

The only slip came April 20, when Bowersox burst into tears at the end of covering the Impressions' People Get Ready - the result of seeing her father, Bill, in the audience for the first time.

Cowell didn't flinch, deeming the performance "in a completely different class" from the night's competitors. Bowersox fast became a sensation in Toledo - and tabloid fodder.

Her rumored early departure hit after she expressed homesickness to Idol host Ryan Seacrest. She was briefly hospitalized in March following what was believed to be complications from diabetes. And, shortly before her final performances, her relationship with Ohio boyfriend Tony Kusian ended.

Gossip magazines scoured Elliston for dirt, later claiming she was pregnant or engaged. Internet forums lit up with chatter about her dreadlocks (inspired by her readings about Buddhist and biblical studies) and, more recently, a dental procedure to close a gap between her teeth.

Bowersox is flattered by the attention but finds such energy misspent. "People get their teeth done every day - why are mine any more special?" she said. "The gulf's on fire and full of black sludge, and people are talking about my teeth. It's silly."

She plans to involve longtime bassist Frankie May in upcoming recording sessions, after the tour.

She hasn't decided whether to live in Los Angeles, but she said the tour has given her peeks at plenty of potential places to settle down. Wherever Bowersox lands, home won't fade.

"Nothing comes easy in northwest Ohio," she said. "People work hard and appreciate the things they have. It's a lot of honest people just trying to make their way in life - that's what I want to take with me.

"I'm seeing some really cool cities and cool people, but I'm just a country girl."

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crystal Bowersox and Her Toledo Roots, Part 2

Many people around Toledo knew that someday, someone would discover the girl with old-soul talent. And they were right! Check out American Idols runner-up in Part 2!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Crystal Bowersox Sings "No One Needs To Know"

American Idol Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox Sings "No One Needs To Know" with a Charlie Brown & Snoopy video. Very cute, and fitting!

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Crystal Bowersox and Her Toledo Roots, Part I

Many people around Toledo knew that someday, someone would discover the girl with old-soul talent. And they were right!  Make sure to come back for Part 2!

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze talk about their future plans with YoungHollywood

American Idol Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox talk about their future and how this is just the beginning for them (Get tickets Here!). Lee tells YH his secret on what he was feeling when he got crowned American Idol as Crystal tells us her musical influences and inspirations ~ like Micheal Franti and Spearhead, Aretha Franklin and Melissa Etheridge. Hosted by Tatiana Diana.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crystal Bowersox talks about her upcoming album and the American Idol Tour

Crystal Bowersox talks about her upcoming album and the American Idol Tour.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crystal Bowersox's Secret Songs

Before going on Fox's American Idol, the Crystal Bowersox cut tracks at Englewood studio
BY THOMAS CONNER AND MIKE THOMAS Staff Reporters/Chicago Sun Times

Ron Prince got a phone call earlier this year from a friend telling him to turn on the TV. Like, right now.

"He said, 'Ron! Ron! That's your girl on TV! On 'American Idol'!"

When Prince clicked on Fox, he saw Crystal Bowersox, the young woman who used to come by his Englewood home studio, sit on the floor and play her guitar. Prince had been intrigued enough by what he heard that he'd recorded some of her songs -- nine of them, and she said she had 40 ready to go -- and wondered what could be done with them.

That was late in the summer of 2008. Then Bowersox blew town.

"She got pregnant, and she said the kid was going to be her only priority," Prince said Monday at his studio. "So she went back to Toledo. And the next thing I heard, she's on TV."

So Prince now owns an album's worth of recordings by someone who could be the biggest name in music. Like, tomorrow.

On a purely sonic level, he thinks the country, folk and rock tunes have huge potential -- especially now that Bowersox has garnered global acclaim.

But because Bowersox disappeared to another life so quickly and now has been essentially quarantined for several months by "Idol" producers, not to mention crazy busy thanks to rehearsals and a flurry of personal appearances, she hasn't even heard these finished recordings. And Prince hasn't been able to get in touch.

Until she reaches out, he says, these tracks of hers will stay safely tucked away.

"I would like to speak to her first and try to see where her head is at before I start distributing her music," says the 53-year-old Prince, long affiliated with the Gary-rooted blues-funk-reggae band the Kinsey Report as well as his own blues band Ron Prince and Hard Time. "Because I really care about Crystal and it's not just about the money, it's about her trusting me to do this together. Although I footed the whole bill on this, I still want to give her a chance to have some say."

Bowersox couldn't be reached, but her friend Brian Walker, a Chicago musician, confirmed she had worked with Prince. Fox declined comment.

Word of the recordings follows the national release of two locally made CDs of songs by Bowersox's "Idol" rival, Lee DeWyze of Mount Prospect. "So I'm Told" and "Slumberland," by the Lee DeWyze Band, were recorded in Oak Park by the independent WuLi Records.

Prince says he worked with Bowersox "at a time in her life when she was really opening up with her expressiveness, and I just really kind of tapped into something with her."

That something, he adds, was "probably the desperation that she was experiencing here in trying to make it as a musician. I know the story myself. I could just see it in her."

Although Bowersox recorded the songs accompanied only by her acoustic guitar, Prince put "a whole band behind her" during the ensuing production process, bringing in session players to add saxophone, mandolin, piano, strings, horns and backing vocals.

"She likes her music really raw. ... If she had it her way, she would like all of her music to be mostly her and her guitar," Prince says with a laugh. "But I think since she's been on 'Idol' and had a bigger production behind her, she's probably grown a newer perspective. I would hope so."

Asked if he'll ultimately try to sell the songs to a bigger label than his own Ron House Recordings, Prince again defers to Bowersox.

"I would like for Crystal to take a look at them and see if we could, because I think it's really worthy material. It's probably some of her best stuff. I probably heard every song that she'd come up with, and we kind of picked out the cream of the crop."

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Crystal Bowersox Sings her Original Song "Slut"

This video was recorded at The Village idiot in Maumee, Ohio on 12/28/2009 by Martin Alves. Videographer Tim Ide, who recorded the other Village Idiot Exclusive videos found on this blog, is 'eating' fire here.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

American Idol's Crystal Bowersox blazes her own path

Crystal Bowersox blazes her own path
By CARY ASPINWALL World Scene Writer/TulsaWorld

Crystal Bowersox did not win "American Idol" this year, but that's just fine with her.

The young mom with the blonde dreadlocks won over season nine fans and judges with her heartfelt, soulful takes on classic '60s and '70s songs.

In the end, she lost the title to Lee DeWyze — but got a record deal with 19 Recordings/Jive Records.

So what kind of record does she want to make? Something in the vein of Ray LaMontagne or Melissa Etheridge?

"I don't want it to be like anyone else's," she said in a phone interview from Florida. "I take most of my inspiration from life —I want it to be my words."

She was pegged as a bit of an old soul this season, and that doesn't bother her.

"I listen to all sorts of music and check everything out," she said, "but what I love is kind of limited to what touches me and what moves me."

Staying true to herself an making "real, organic" music is her priority.

"I will not being singing 'Blah, Blah, Blah,' " she said, a reference to the radio-friendly pop of Ke$ha.

Of the other nine finalists she's touring with, she would be most likely to record a duet or track with Casey James, she said.

"I really like Casey's stuff — he's definitely a real musician, and I like his southern rock, country style."

Two of the biggest challenges for her during the tour are managing her type-1 diabetes (she wears an insulin pump 24/7) and
adjusting to life without her 18-month-old son, Tony. She gets to talk to him and see him occasionally, but "it's never enough."

Becoming a household name doesn't seem to have fazed the singer, whom fans lovingly dubbed "Mama Sox."

"I think people need to remember that we're human, we need space and time and you can't please everyone all the time," she said. "You've got to worry about taking care of yourself."

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Michael Franti says he's "excited to work with" Crystal Bowersox!

Michael Franti on Crystal Bowersox: “I’m Excited to Work With Her”

Michael Franti had a massive hit with “Say Hey (I Love You)” but he’s been on the fringes of the music business for years as an alternative/political artist. In most circumstances, it would be hard for him to imagine working with an artist from American Idol.

But when he got the call from Crystal Bowersox, he was eager to work with her.

“I’ve talked with Crystal on the phone a few times. She’s a really really talented artist, singer, songwriter. We’ve got the same hairstyle! She’s somebody who wants to make a difference in the world and that’s really unique for a young artist to say ‘not only do I want to make music that can sell and be on the radio, but that changes people’s moment and helps people get through difficult times.’ I’m excited to work with her.”

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Crystal Bowersox!

Happy Birthday, Crystal Bowersox!
by Kyle Anderson/MTV

It may be an especially raucous party at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida tonight, as not only is the "American Idols Live" tour making a stop there, but it is also Crystal Bowersox's birthday. The runner-up from the most recent season of "Idol" turns 25 years old today, and she has managed to pack an incredible narrative into only a quarter-century.

The Ohio native grew up with her twin brother in a small blue collar town and got into music at a very early age. She began playing songs in local bars when she was only 13 years old, and since then she has rarely put down a guitar, whether it was playing small local gigs, busking or performing on "American Idol." She immediately drew the fascination of the "Idol" audience when she first appeared on the show, as she did not match the type of contestant the program normally draws. With the power of her dreadlocks, her honest approach to songs, her laid-back personality and her status as a mother (which earned her the nickname "Mamasox"), she became an early favorite during the show's ninth season. It wasn't always a smooth ride, either, as she nearly left the show after being hospitalized (she has Type 1 diabetes). But she managed to come back, overcome the odds and finish in second place behind winner Lee DeWyze. She has been one of the highlights of the "American Idols Live" tour, rolling out such jams as 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up," Melissa Etheridge's "Come to My Window" and "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson.

Bowersox had a number of memorable moments on the show, but she managed to outdo Alanis Morissette with her cover of "Hand in My Pocket." Here's hoping she's enjoying a happy birthday and that we get to hear original tracks from Mamasox sooner rather than later.

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Backstage Pass ~ Interview with Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze & Casey James

Laughs and Digs with American Idols

American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, runner-up Crystal Bowersox and 3rd place finalist Casey James are interviewed for Backstage Pass after the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series show in Central Park, New York. The Idols each tell something that the Fans don't know about the other Idols, and with all the laughs and ribbing, you can tell they all genuinely like each other. Simply put, they have great chemistry!

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Crystal Bowersox: An American Idol success story

By EJ Young for Helium

Once upon a time, a little girl from Ohio did not get to live in a fairy tale world. Yet, her life could end up as a happily-ever-after story. It’s the elusive American Dream. The Crystal Bowersox fairy tale is a version of that dream. (Get Idol Live tickets Here!)

Crystal’s American Idol success story transformed a little girl without much magic in her childhood into a pop princess who spins music into gold. She remembers knowing she was destined to be a musician since the time she was 6 or 7 years old. By the time she was 10, she had some paying gigs. At age 12 she was organizing business cards and playing venues chauffeured by her dad. By 17 she considered dropping out of high school to focus on a music career. She stayed in small town Ohio long enough to get a diploma before setting out for the streets of Chicago where she eventually auditioned for American Idol.

Her story epitomizes the ideal of the American success story. She went from having nothing to signing a music contract in less than a year without selling out. She stayed true to her music and to herself, never pretending to be something she was not. She stayed classy but did not conform or bow down to the judges; instead she spoke as a confident young woman. Along the way she defeated huge obstacles to reach her goal. By reaching that goal she solidified a solid financial future for herself and her family. Call it the American Dream or a Fairy Tale but it’s a refreshing story of never giving up on your dream.

A glance at her childhood makes her happy ending seem even more remarkable. After her parents divorced when she was two years old, Crystal was shuffled back and forth between mom and dad. She was sick throughout her childhood due to Type I diabetes. She remembers sitting outside a pharmacy begging for money to buy insulin. She witnessed physical fights between her parents and her dad, who was the one she turned to for advice, ended up in jail after an argument with Crystal’s stepbrother. When her mother got frustrated she’d get angry. But, Crystal holds no grudges.

In spite of all the chaos growing up, she doesn’t hold anything against her parents. She said they did the best they could with what they had. Her tough times as a child help remind her that her son, Tony, won’t have to go through the same hardships. Being able to provide a better life for her son was the main reason she tried out for the show. Providing for her family financially was the motivation that got her through difficult times on American Idol. With the help of host Ryan Seacrest, Crystal realized she had the opportunity to change the lives of her family if she kept working hard.

In addition to overcoming an unplanned pregnancy and caring for her son, Crystal faced the consequences of her disease during the American Idol season. Due to diabetes’ related problems she was hospitalized and almost lost her spot on the show. She said it was the one time she had a fit and refused to be sent home. She told executives she didn’t have a problem going home if she was voted off the show but she wasn’t going home because she was sick. And she didn’t.

When Crystal went to Chicago after high school, she worked for a real estate firm and felt out of place. She ended up working as a waitress at a bar and pizza restaurant in Toledo called The Village Idiot where she felt more at home. When she wasn’t busy she took the opportunity to sing with different bands and graced the stage often. Co-worker and friend Nathan Woodward attributes part of Crystal’s appeal to her genuine nature. He said she has a great voice and people can see she’s giving her very best effort.

At age 24 she seems to have what many people live all their lives to figure out. “To me, the definition of success is happiness,” Crystal said in a recent interview with Redbook magazine. “And, as cheesy as this is, home to me is where the heart is. I’m very at home in my skin. I’m at home when my son is with me,” she added.

Her thoughts on marriage are also a contrast to the diva image. As told in Redbook, “If I ever do get married, I want my husband to be someone who’s honest, kind, generous, with a sense of spirituality. I’m not so worried about looks; I’m more attracted to someone’s mind than anything else.”

After her little Tony said the word ‘happy’ one morning, it almost made her cry. “. . . I’m doing something right and it feels so good, ” she commented. It does sound like the Crystal Bowersox saga has evolved into fairy tale status. She seems to be on the road to ‘happily ever after’.

See Crystal Bowersox in Concert! Get American Idol Live tickets - Click Here!