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Daughtry swinging through Cedar Rapids
Band rocking new music on the riverside
Among the most successful “American Idol” alums are Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry.
Unlike Clarkson and Underwood, Daughtry didn't win his competition. Even though he was the favorite during season five of “American Idol,” the North Carolina native finished fourth in 2006.
Apparently that didn't matter. Where have you gone Trent Harmon, Candice Glover and Taylor Hicks? Each of those “Idol” winners are MIA. But Daughtry has enjoyed great success leading his band.
If you go
What: Daughtry, with Black Stone Cherry opening
Where: McGrath Amphitheatre, 475 First St. SW, Cedar Rapids.
When: 7:30 p.m. July 23, 2022
Tickets: $40 to $60; creventslive.com/events/2022/daughtry-the-dearly-beloved-tour
Band’s website: daughtryofficial.com/
“Winning that season wasn’t the most important thing,” Daughtry said. “It was about getting a chance to show what I could do. I owe so much to ‘American Idol.’ I’ll never have a bad thing to say about that show. If it weren’t for ‘American Idol,’ I wouldn’t be where I am today. I might be playing a club somewhere. Who knows if I would ever be in the place I am now? I work hard to be the best musician I can be.”
Daughtry, 42, is the third most successful ‘American Idol’ contestant in terms of album sales and he’s always been a solid draw on the road.
“I’ve been so fortunate,” he said. “Sure, some things came my way, but I really did work hard for all of this.”
That’s evident while examining the body of his work. He has written and recorded six albums, and his eponymous debut dropped in 2006.
Daughtry, who will perform July 23 at the McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids, has never let more than three years pass between albums. So the bald, muscular musician has relentlessly written, recorded and toured, constantly repeating the cycle.
“This is what I’m passionate about,” he said. “It is work, but in a way it’s not exactly work. This is a labor of love.”
His earnest, urgent and often poignant tunes have connected with a legion of fans around the country.
But the singer-songwriter-guitarist had to adapt during the pandemic since he has embraced the touring grind. That transition was nothing compared to the loss he suffered during the pandemic. His mother died and his stepdaughter committed suicide.
“Life isn’t easy,” he said. “You just have to do the best you can and have faith.”
It takes considerable faith to be a singer-songwriter. It’s a world that lacks security. Fledgling recording artists perform without a net. But Daughtry persevered to have an enviable career filled with highlights. He earned a nomination for Best Rock Song for the single “It’s Not Over” at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008.
He also has worked with a variety of noteworthy recording artists, collaborating with such hard rockers as Slash, Sevendust and Theory of a Deadman, and with country’s Vince Gill, and iconic guitarist Carlos Santana.
“I’ve had so many great experiences working with a number of my heroes,” he said. “I can’t help but look back at all of that and smile at what I’ve accomplished.”
It’s not surprising that such luminaries would like to work with Daughtry, since he has such a powerful voice.
“I’ve been blessed with something that I don’t take for granted,” he said. “But a lot of people can sing. If you have a voice, you still have to work your butt off to get anywhere. It’s a tough business.”
Expect a healthy dose of tracks from Daughtry's latest album, “Dearly Beloved,” in Cedar Rapids. Daughtry's sixth release is diverse. There’s the soulful “Break Into My Heart,” the anthemic “World on Fire” and the intense “Evil.”
“I continue to be inspired,” Daughtry said. “I’m incredibly fortunate.“