Alex Lambert is a gravelly velvet-voiced American singer-songwriter from North Richland Hills, Texas, who was eliminated just short of the top 12 finals during the ninth season of American Idol. The result was met with a public outcry, and led one fan, Jessica Bongiorno, to create a popular petition demanding his return to the show. Although the petition did not achieve its ultimate goal, it landed him a spot on Simon Fuller’s new “post-reality” web show, If I Can Dream. Lambert is currently living in Los Angeles and working towards putting together his first album.
Alexander “Alex” Don Lambert was born on December 10, 1990, to Harold Lambert and Gwen Henderson-Lambert. He has six brothers, an older brother, Spencer, two younger twin brothers, Trevor and Trenton, two step-brothers, Jace and Eric, and a half-brother, Mason.
Lambert attended Richland High School, where he played junior varsity and varsity football and was a member of the 2008 7-on-7 State Championship team. He is a talented athlete and participated in numerous sports in addition to football, including soccer, baseball and boxing.
Lambert started singing and playing the guitar at the age of nine. At sixteen, he began taking his music more seriously and writing his own songs, citing his grandfather, a country musician who worked with Conway Twitty and Willie Nelson, as his main inspiration. Prior to auditioning for American Idol, Lambert was self-taught, both vocally and on guitar, and had only sung in front of an audience at a couple of local coffee shops with his band, Hands That Hurt.
Lambert’s musical influences include The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Marley, James Morrison, John Mayer, and John Legend.
Lambert auditioned for American Idol in Dallas, Texas, at the encouragement of his mother.
During the initial audition phase, Lambert performed “Let It Be” by The Beatles and “Golden Train” by Justin Nozuka. Lambert secured a callback audition in front of judges Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Simon Cowell and celebrity guest judge Joe Jonas on August 25, 2009, and earned his golden ticket to Hollywood Week with a performance of “Let It Be”.
During the first round of Hollywood Week, Lambert sang “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5. He advanced to the group rounds, becoming a member of “The Dreamers”, which was portrayed as one of the most quarrelsome groups due to the overbearing attitude of one of its members, Mary Powers. Although the group’s rendition of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac was not well received, Lambert was passed into the final round. With a solo performance of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, he secured his position among the top 24 semifinalists.
On the first night of the live semifinals, Lambert sang “Wonderful World” by James Morrison. The performance was described as “uncomfortable” by Simon Cowell due to Lambert’s inexperience; however, the entire panel acknowledged his natural talent and unique, rich tone, and Lambert moved into the Top 20 after the nationwide vote. In the next round, Lambert sang “Everybody Knows” by John Legend, which earned praise from the judges and gained him momentum in the competition. He advanced to the Top 16 and, on the advice of the producers, performed “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne, over his original choice of “Let Me Love You” by Mario. Although he gave a great performance, he was eliminated the following night, March 11, 2010, along with Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly and Todrick Hall, in what has been labeled one of the most shocking elimination nights in the series’ history.
Immediately after his elimination, Lambert was invited to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he discussed his Idol experience and sang “Let Me Love You”, which received thundering applause. A backstage performance of “Butterflies”, an original song written the day after his elimination, also attracted online attention. He then made an appearance on Good Morning Texas, where he performed another original, “I Been Working”, and later played at an informal meet ‘n’ greet near his home in Texas.
Lambert’s elimination continued to create a buzz in the press, due in large part to an online petition created by one of his fans, Jessica Bongiorno. The petition called for his reinstatement to the show and was signed by over 19,000 people, including notable celebrities like Demi Moore. This outpouring of support caught the attention of 19 Entertainment executive Simon Fuller, the creator of If I Can Dream – an interactive “post-reality” web show streamed live 24/7 over the internet that documents the journey of aspiring models, actors and musicians as they pursue their dreams in Hollywood.
If I Can Dream
A few weeks after his elimination from American Idol, following increasing public pressure, it was announced that Lambert would be joining then-cast members Giglianne Braga, Justin Gaston, Ben Elliott, Kara Killmer, and Amanda Phillips on If I Can Dream. Lambert moved into the Dream House on April 1, 2010, watched live by over a million internet viewers. He was soon hailed as If I Can Dream‘s “artist to watch”, and was voted most popular cast member twice in polls conducted on the If I Can Dream website. “Dream with My Eyes Open,” one of the first songs he wrote and demoed (with Lars Jensen and Josh Jorgensen of DEEKAY), replaced Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream” as the show’s theme song as of episode 11.
While on If I Can Dream, Lambert took guitar lessons with Allen Hinds and piano with Olympia DeCarlo, and received vocal instruction from Mark Renk, former vocal coach of American Idol alum Chris Daughtry. Lambert additionally collaborated with many prominent songwriters and producers, including Jason Reeves, the Avila Brothers, and Cisco Adler, and completed his popular song “Butterflies” with Kevin Griffin (later recorded with DEEKAY).
If I Can Dream ended in October 2010, but half-hour edited episodes are available on Hulu.
“I Didn’t Know” Video Single Release
On July 26, 2010, Lambert’s first music video, for the soulful pop song “I Didn’t Know”, was released on iheartradio, then across the web. The video, created by Clear Channel Radio and 19 Entertainment, features Lambert playing at several “Play Me I’m Yours” piano art installations across the five boroughs of New York City. The song was written with Nasri Atweh and Adam Messinger (The Messengers), and produced by Nasri. Since its premiere, “I Didn’t Know” has garnered positive feedback on social networking and media sites including MySpace and Hulu, and has been viewed over 200,000 times on YouYube alone.
Appearances and Performances
During the first season of If I Can Dream, Lambert made numerous appearances in the Los Angeles area. His first show following American Idol was at The Mint LA, accompanied by his brother Spencer on guitar and friend Evan on drums. Other performances included a second show at The Mint, an acoustic set at the Motel No Tell during the U.S. Open of Surfing 2010 at Huntington Beach, and two shows at the Roxy Theatre, the first as part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival 2010.
As a former American Idol contestant and cast member of If I Can Dream, Lambert has made several celebrity appearances: he served with Giglianne Braga as a presenter at the Young Hollywood Awards 2010, performed “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” before an audience of approximately 50,000 spectators at an LA Dodgers game, and participated in Elvis week 2010, during which he sang several Elvis classics at the world famous Rendezvous BBQ in Memphis.
Lambert has additionally performed in support of various charities. In August 2010, through the non-profit organization Reality Cares, he visited and sang for patients at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Later the same month, under a Pepsi Refresh Project initiative, he played for youth at a “back-to-school” party at A Place Called Home, a South Central Community Center. In October 2010, following the end of If I Can Dream Season One, he performed at the Brownstone Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, as part of a fundraiser in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, a cause close to his heart because his grandmother succumed to the disease. In early November 2010, he made a memorable appearance as a celebrity contestant on an episode of the game show Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, winning a total of US $5000 for the charity Feeding America. On May 27, 2011, he performed along with a star-studded lineup at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles as part of the Stickam Live for Japan Fundraiser, a live and webathon benefit concert organized by the live-streaming video chat site Stickam.
Almost a year after filming the video for “I Didn’t Know”, a newly confident Lambert returned to New York on June 26, 2011, to perform a sold-out private show at Smith’s Bar for a crowd of wildly enthusiastic fans from the east coast and beyond. Shortly thereafter, on August 17th, 2011, he played another show at Room 5 in Los Angeles alongside fellow Texan Michael Castro.
Recording and Publishing
Lambert currently divides his time between LA and the Dallas/Forth Worth area and continues to write and record music towards his first album. In early 2012, he began focusing his energies on songwriting and music production. His first credit as songwriter was for the track “Trouble”, co-written by Busbee and Jason Bonilla, and performed by X-Factor’s Chris Rene. The song was released on June 26, 2012, on iTunes. “Trouble” debuted at #10 on the iTunes video chart, #10 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, #26 on the AOL Top 40 pop songs chart, and at #100 on the US Hot 100 Airplay chart. In September 2012, Lambert had his second studio album writing credit when his original song “What Makes You So Beautiful” (later shortened to “Beautiful”), a co-write with Toby Gad, was included on Carly Rae Jepsen’s sophomore album, Kiss.
- Alex is 5’9″ (1.75 meters) tall
- Alex’s nicknames are Alleycat and Alexander the Great
- Alex has a tattoo of the state of Texas on the inside of his left forearm
- Alex is a Sagittarius
- Alex once took swing dancing lessons with his mother
- Before auditioning for American Idol, Alex worked at Sonic (a fast-food chain in Texas)
- Alex only auditioned for American Idol because his mother threatened to take away his cell phone
- On American Idol, Alex was closest to Andrew Garcia, Lee DeWyze, and Siobhan Magnus
- The first band Alex saw live in concert was The Kooks
- Alex’s favorite color is purple
- Alex’s favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys, his favorite baseball team is the Texas Rangers
- Alex’s favorite shoe brand is Vans
- Alex’s favorite movie is Braveheart
- Alex’s favorite song of all time is “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles
- Alex’s favorite song to perform live is “I Feel Good” by James Brown
- Alex doesn’t like to eat breakfast
- Before singing, Alex likes to drink honey for his voice
- Alex’s favorite fruit is kiwis
- Alex loves Mexican and Italian food; favorite LA restaurants include Poquito Mas and Fabrocini’s
- Alex enjoys viewing the lights of downtown LA from a Mulholland Drive overlook known as “the spot”
- The one thing Alex won’t leave the house without is his flat bill hat