Leon James "Lee" DeWyze (born April 2, 1986) is an American singer-songwriter and musician from Mount Prospect, Illinois, and is the winner of the ninth season of American Idol. He has released two independent albums, So I'm Told (2007) and Slumberland (2010). He released "Live it Up" in late 2010.
Lee Dewyze attended an alternative high school but states that music and his teachers were his inspiration to go back to his studies. Before Idol, DeWyze worked as a paint salesclerk. A tragic event in his life include the publicized murder of his grandmother by his uncle. His grandmother had once helped Vietnamese refugees settle after fleeing their country. After a plea for insanity, his uncle was acquitted of the crime. His musical influences include Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton, Bill Harper, and Simon & Garfunkel.
DeWyze's career began when he was 16 or 17, after he met Louis Svitek, owner of WuLi Records, and Ryan McGuire of the Virginia Gentlemen. Lee DeWyze auditioned in Chicago for the ninth season of American Idol with the song "Ain't No Sunshine", which was also covered by Kris Allen. During Hollywood week, his group included Aaron kelly and Crystal Bowersox, who all made it into the Top 24. During the first week, he performed "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, which was praised by Simon Cowell. The next week he sang "Lips of an Angel", which did not get the same response as his first performance but was good enough to get him into the top 16. His third song, "Fireflies", came as a surprise and was generally liked by the viewers, critics, and the judges.
After making it to the Top 12, DeWyze performed Beast Of Burden during The Rolling Stones week. For the Top 11's theme, Billboard #1 Hits, DeWyze performed The Letter by the The Box Tops. The following week DeWyze performed Treat Her Like A Lady impressing mentor Usher and all four judges including Cowell who said that "This is the night that your life may have changed forever." For the Top 9 week Lee performed Hey Jude by The Beatles. His closest friend is his fellow roomate, Andrew Garcia.