January 14, 2009 (UPDATED 1-16-10, 2-8-10, 2-10-10, 2-16-10, 3-15-10).
We have a new obsession and his name is Justin Williams. After hearing him sing “Feeling Good” on Tuesday night’s 2010 American Idol Season 9 premiere, we are convinced he’ll be our next American Idol—or at least he should be! These things sometimes go awry, as Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert can attest. We’ve done some searching and found out the 27 year-old self-described singer of “alternative pop and jazz” has made several music videos and posted over a dozen songs on his website, which we bring you today, via videos and widgets! Apparently, Justin Williams was a contender for American Idol last year as well; he was cut early on but not before he teamed up with Kris Allen for a rap group presentation called “White Chocolate,” the video of which you can watch at the bottom of this post.
Justin Williams was born 27 years ago in Ravenna, Ohio. He began performing and singing at a very young age, listening to his father play the piano every day. Justin himself started tickling the ivories, entirely by ear, at age 7. His first gig was performing as Tiny Tim in the Musical The Christmas Carol. When he was 8 years old he traveled and performed with the Cincinnati Boys Choir. His passion for inspirational music led him to sing at the MGM Grande in Las Vegas after winning a national talent competition.
Picture of Justin Williams winning the American Idol judges over with his great smile. 1-12-10 photo
After singing/acting in various musicals, including playing the lead role of Tony in West Side Story, Justin won a John Lennon Singer-Song Writer Competition and toured again with the One Voice Children's Choir, this time in Tokyo Japan.
Recent photo of Justin Williams reuniting with the One Voice Children's Choir, with whom he got his start as a child. 2009 picture
Williams spent the last couple of years in California mentoring with internationally known artists and song writers, including David Archuleta. Justin just this year performed with Air Supply at the Salt Air Film Festival on September 25, 2009.
Picture of Justin Williams doing a killer rendition of Michael Buble's "Feeling Good," which left the American Idol judges with positive vibes for the crooner, whom we believe has the stuff to be the next American Idol. 1-12-10 photo
Justin is reportedly working on his first album Familiar Stranger which is listed on his website as “to be released in the fall of 2009.” Although the tracks are apparently complete (Listen to them on our widget), as is the album cover, we can’t find it for sale anywhere.
UPDATE! 1-16-10: Salt Lake City's fox13now.com is reporting the album will be out next week.
UPDATE! 2-10-10: Apparently fox13now was wrong. Justin just tweeted that he's working on releasing his album independently and it should be out SOON! Keep checking back to this page for more info, as we'll post it as it becomes available!
UPDATE! 2-16-10: Justin Williams just sent this Facebook message to his fans: “The Undercovers,” Featuring Justin Williams Cover Album will be released on iTunes March 15th!! and Justin Williams’ new Hybrid Album Familiar Stranger will be released on Itunes March 29th!! !!! :) :) :)”
UPDATE! 3-15-10: Justin sent a new Facebook message to his fans today: Justin Williams Justin Williams Cover Album has been postponed to the end of this month but will be released on ITunes very soon. will keep you posted. :)
Having battled cancer at the age of 20 years old, Justin has a very special and positive outlook on life. According to his Facebook profile, he likes April Meservy, Jarrett Burns, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Franky, Amos Lee, The Script, Motown, Michael Jackson, Brian Mcknight, Jack Johnson, Stevie Wonder, and Barcellona.
Picture of Justin Williams singing the national anthem for the NFL team the Arizona Cardinals August of 2008. Scroll down to watch the video of the awesome performance. August 2008 photo
MTV just posted a nice article about Justin Williams’ appearance on Tuesday's American Idol Season 9 entitled American Idol Hopeful Justin Williams Returns To Hollywood, wherein they questioned why no mention was made of Williams' past appearance on the show. But they noted “we did get a touching look at the 27-year-old vocal coach's battle with cancer and a dazzling rendition of 'Feeling Good,' the song Adam Lambert covered last year during Rat Pack night.”
One of several professional images of Justin Williams playing his guitar shot by photographer Jason Leonard. 2009 picture
Williams seems well-prepared for the increased attention his new Idol appearance is likely to give him. His Facebook page contains over 100 professionally shot photos, while his personal Web site contains a blog and links to his YouTube and Twitter pages.
"It's not what happens to you that matters, it's what you do about it that makes you who you are!" Justin tweeted on Tuesday night as the taping of Hollywood Week began.
Picture of Justin Williams strumming his guitar on the rocks in another image shot by Jason Leonard. 2009 photo
Justin Williams' YouTube page features clips of him playing guitar and piano with his band, singing solo and performing the national anthem at an Arizona Cardinals game. His band, Justin Williams and the UnderCovers, do tunes like OneRepublic's "Apologize" and Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon."
Additionally, Williams uploaded a bunch of low-budget, photo-based music videos for renditions of songs like Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" and Pink's "Please Don't Leave Me."
Photo of Justin Williams playing coy. 2009 black and white image
Another YouTube video on a different channel shows Williams giving a tour of his own music studio, complete with mics, instruments, computers, soundboard and soundproofing. He then steps into the booth to record vocals for a duet of "The Prayer." All of which you can watch at the base of this page.
On Tuesday's show, Williams described his harrowing six months of chemotherapy, calling his battle with cancer a "very interesting, very humbling experience."
Picture of Justin Williams from last year's appearance on American Idol's season 8. 2009 photo
After his stunning audition on Monday night’s American Idol, an atypical Simon Cowell complimented Justin, saying simply, "Thank you. Thank you."
Somewhat fuzzy photo of Justin Williams with David Archuleta, with whom he collaborated on a cover of David's song, "Crush," which you can watch at the base of this page. 2009 picture
"I think the girls are going to like you," guest judge Victoria Beckham told Williams, one of the few comments of hers that showed any acumen. "You have a nice face and a nice presence."
Another hot picture of Justin Williams getting musical in the great outdoors. In the words of another American Idol contestant, Justin can strum our guitar any time! 2009 photo
Preliminary Nielsen numbers reveal that American Idol Season 9 premiered to 29.8 million average viewers and an 11.7 adults 18-49 rating Tuesday night, a touch down from last year’s 11.8 rating.
Click the music tab to play this Justin Williams Music Widget (includes “Russian Roulette, Turn Me Down, Familiar Stranger, Breathin’, Growing, Perfect, Steel Wall, I Don’t Know How to Let You Go, And I Do, My Obsession Over You, Decision Time, Fly Me to the Moon, David Archuleta Crush, Stayin’ Home Tonight”).
UPDATE! 2-8-10. Justin was eliminated today on American Idol without so much as a "Thank You," so we have officially lost interest in the program this year. Those judges wouldn't know talent if it bit them in the ass and called them "Mama!" But we take heart in the knowledge that the judges have been oh-so-wrong many times before and we know Justin Williams' talent will eventually take him to the top. Check back for information about his upcoming album tentatively titled, "Familiar Stranger," and send Justin your best wishes on Twitter!
UPDATE! Justin Williams sent this Facebook message to his fans 2-16-10: “The Undercovers,” Featuring Justin Williams Cover Album will be released on iTunes March 15th!! and Justin Williams’ new Hybrid Album Familiar Stranger will be released on Itunes March 29th!! !!! :) :) :)”
UPDATE! 3-15-10 Justin sent a new Facebook message to his fans today: Justin Williams Justin Williams Cover Album has been postponed to the end of this month but will be released on ITunes very soon. will keep you posted. :)
Watch this video: How Was Idol Without Paula Abdul? MTV’s American Idol expert Jim Cantiello goes through the first show of the season point by point. (1.13.10):Watch this video:
Justin Williams American Idol Audition "Feeling Good" 1-12-10.