One21 Live Blogs American Idol Season 9

American Idol Season 9launched into full gear this week with Hollywood Week.  We saw some incredible individaul performances by Christian music artists Michael Lynche and Didi Benami on Tuesday night.

We saw real American Idol Season 9 drama on Wednesday night when we experienced Group night performances.  We also saw some more great performances by Christian music artists Michael Lynche, Didi Benami, Ashley Rodriguez, Michelle Delamor and Jermaine Sellers. Unfortunately, we also lost one of our early favorite Christian music artists, Ben Honeycutt when he was eliminated after the group performance.  I did not see anything as good as last year’s group performances but the drama was not as intense either. Finally, I am a little frustrated that we have not seen one performance by my favorite Christian music artist of American Idol Season 9, Alex Nestor. She is an amazing artist who has alreadt made a record as good as any American Idol artist.

Everyone log in on Wednesday night as One21music live blogs the American Idol Season 9chair epsiode.  Let’s find out who is in the American Idol Season 9 Top 24 together.

We have not seen much of the performers this year so it is a little early to start picking favorites, but three performers have shined in Hollywood week so far.  Christian music artist Michael Lynchebrings an intimidating presence but an old school soul vibe.  Son of the gangbangers Andy Garcia has the Kris Allen ability to turn any song into a new revelation.  Katie Stevens, granddaughter of Portuguese grandmother with Alzheimer’s, is a wonderful singer who could bring the girls back inot power after the last two years.

We still need your help in finding all of the Christian music artists on American Idol Season 9. If you know anything about these artists’ faith background, please share.

Aaron Kelly
Haeley Vaughn
Janelle Wheeler
Alex lambert
Paige Miles
Casey James
Katy Stevens
Andrew Garcia
Jose Munoz

Don’t forget to join us on Wednesday night for the live blog of American Idol Season 9 chair episode.

AI9 Christian Hollywood Week Hopefuls

American Idol Season 9 Hollywood Week is upon us. Now the show gets good. Over the next two weeks we will find out who makes it into the Top 24. One21music focuses our American Idol coverage on Christian music artists trying to make their dreams come true by running the American Idol gauntlet. Last year we followed the triumphs of Kris Allen and Danny Gokey, the inspiring stories of Michael Sarver and Scott MacIntyre and the way too early ousters of Mishavonna Henson and Felica Barton.

American Idol Hollywood Week Season 9 should feature several Christian music artist favorites and we want to help you keep an eye out for them. We have already featured, Alex Nestor (who for some reason was never seen in the audtions), Ben Honeycut and Jermaine Sellers

But we continue to look and we have found seven more Christian music artists for you to follow through American Idol Season 9 Hollywood Week.  We believe that it is likely you will be able to vote for these Christian music artists in a few weeks:

Lacey Brown

Lacey BrownThe 24-year-old, who the show identified as a church event director from Amarillo, sang “Over the Rainbow” in Orlando, Fla., before the four judges unanimously voted her through to the next round. Lacey Brown is the daughter of David and Connie Brown, pastor and co-pastor of Victory Church in Amarillo. She shared that the first time she sang was in church for her parents anniversary party while she had hiccups, and went on to say that her relatives were as shocked as she was that she could sing

Lacey Brown made it into the Top 50 of American Idol Season 8.  She was cut in a chair scene with Meagan Joy.

Ashley Makailah Rodriguez

Ashley Makailah RodriguezAshley’s journey as an artist began at the age of four when she started ballet, jazz and tap lessons. Loving the art of performance, Ashley Makailah Rodriguez joined the drama club in high school, took piano, taught herself guitar and sang in the school’s chorus to hone her skills as an all-around performer. It was there at Chelsea High School that she was introduced to the City Music program at Berklee College of Music, which eventually awarded her a full four-year tuition scholarship.

During her four years at Berklee, Ashley Makailah Rodriguez not only worked to improve herself as a vocalist, but also majored in Music Business Management in order to fully immerse herself in the industry. As a performer, Ashley was offered many incredible opportunities, which included traveling internationally with the gospel group Overjoyed and singing at the Berklee Performance Center with artists such as Philip Bailey, Chaka Kahn, and Berklee alums Lalah Hathaway and Paula Cole.

Chris Golightly aka “Orphan”

Chris GolightlyChris Golightly performs under the name Orphan. He born in San Pedro, CA. and by the age of three he was placed in the social services system. Growing up without parents Chris Golightly struggled to find himself.  As a child it was very rough and Chris Golightly had to stand up on his own two feet.

Running away from foster homes etc… every five months made Chris Golightly come to realize he had stories to tell. Ever since he was six years old he was singing and performing. At the age of twelve Rich Mullins inspired him to started writing. Today, Chris Golightly attends Calvary Church in Santa Ana, CA and performs there regularly.

Vered “Didi” Benami

Vered BenamiVered Benami lists her influences as “First and foremost God.”  When you listen to her original music her faith is clearly apparent, as in the chorus of her song “Lullaby”- “He wants to comfort you. He wants to save you.”  Ever since she was old enough to speak Vered Benami was inspired, energized, and fascinated with the groove of life in ever-changing motion. She immersed herself in all kinds of jazz, blues, southern rock, folk, country, R&B and pop music. Throughout her life she has harmonized, danced, and written to any music that moves her.

Vered Benami attended Belmont University where she met her biggest inspiration, Rebecca Joy Lear. Rebecca was a singer/songwriter from Wichita, Kansas who began to help Vered capture and sharpen her ability to sing, and combine vocalizing expression with writing music.  Not too long after these two met they became close friends and decided to stick it out at school, (even though all they were really passionate about was writing and performing music) Rebecca’s Journey was cut short by an automobile accident in December 2005.  This was an eye opening experience for Verdad Benami, and made her realize that life is too short to waste not doing what you love.

Michelle Delamor

Michelle DelamorMichelle Delamor dreams of conquering two worlds: music and fashion. In a Miami Herald article, she said of the two passions: “The moment you step on stage, the transformation is amazing. You can go from crazy nerves to becoming the music. I want to be huge, I want to tour around the world, sing for millions and millions of people. But another dream of mine is to have my own clothing line. My style is funky-glamorous.”

Michelle Delamor is a 20 year-old a music major at Miami Dade College-Wolfson. Michelle credits Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Pink and Mary J. Blige as being some of her biggest musical influences. She also has a strong gospel background and is a soloist in Miami’s Unity on the Bay church choir.

Michael Lynche

Michael LyncheLike many great artists in the R&B tradition, Michael Lynche was first exposed to music through the church. Both of his parents were pastors and the Lynche Family or “Lynche Mob” (as they were known) was well known for its energetic act, which featured a young Michael performing gospel.

Michael Lynche excelled in high school, earning a full academic and athletic scholarship to the University of Central Florida, where he played NCAA Division I football as a defensive lineman. Michael was sure football was his ticket out of the poverty of his youth, but while in college, his beloved mother fell ill with cancer and Michael saw it as his duty to go home. As he recalls, “My love for football was enormous, but when my mom got sick, I started really rethinking about my journey in life and I got to thinking that this was all happening for a reason.”

After the passing of his mother, Michael Lynche stepped back to where he started – with his love of music and specifically, the guitar. He recounts, “When I was a kid I picked up the guitar that was stashed in the back of my mom’s closet and learned to play it. I loved the sound of blues guitar. When she died, one of the first things I did was get a new guitar and start writing. At first, I was just writing music for the church. Then it became a singer songwriter thing. But nothing was groundbreaking.”

Moving to New York in 2006 to pursue his dream, Michael Lynche then hooked up with hip-hop producer Ming (of Ming & FS). Ming started adding beats to the more traditional singer/songwriter and soul songs that Michael was writing, and for Michael, it was like lightning struck. He exclaims, “I’m a soul singer at heart and a story teller, but I realized through Ming that it was the beats that make the songs fun. I was thinking about what kind of music that would be and one day I came up with a new genre name: ‘Dirty Blues,’ where gritty southern soul meets dirty south hip-hop.”

So watch for these Christian music artists starting next week in American Idol Season 9 Hollywood Week and don’t forget to follow American Idol Season 9 on One21music.com when we start live blogging when the show goes live on February 23rd.

In the meantime help us find more Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 9.  Here is a list of some Hollywood Week participants we are researching.  If you know anything about these artists’ faith background, please share.

Aaron Kelly
Haeley Vaughn
Tyler Grady
Alex lambert
Paige Miles
Casey James
Katy Stevens
Andrew Garcia
Katelyn Epperly
David Duke
Jose Munoz

Next week we review the first two shows of American Idol Season 9 and start predicting the Top 24.

American Idol Season 9- A New Christian Artist To Watch

We are four auditions in to American Idol Season 9 and we are finding some contenders who are Christian music artists.  We cover the American Idol from a Christian perspective.  We highlight and follow Christian music artist performing on American Idol.  Check out our American Idol Season 8 archives where we were an early champion of Kris Allen and season long fans of Danny Gokey and Matt Giraud.

So far, the American Idol Season 9 auditions have been your usual string of greatness, intermingled with catastrophes.  However, some exciting Christian artists are starting to emerge.  Last week highlighted amazing soul artist Alex Nestor.  Today we will show you a Christian artist from the Atlanta auditions, Ben Honeycutt .  In order to find all of  the Christians competing on American Idol Season 9 we need your help.  Please help us find the believers who are competing in Hollywood and send us as much background as you can find on them.  Here are a few artists we are researching:

Aaron Kelly
Alexander “Alex” Lambert
Andrew Garcia
Ashley (Makailah) Rodriguez
Casey James
Christopher “Chris” Golightly
Crystal Bowersox
David Duke
Haeley Vaughn
Janell Wheeler
Jermaine Sellers
John Park
Katelyn Epperly
Katie Stevens
Lacey Brown
Michael Lynche
Michelle Delamor
Tyler Grady
Vered Didi Benami

Now to American Idol Season 9 Contender, Christian music artist Ben Honeycutt

Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt, songwriter and former front man for the Christian metal group Candlefuse, is now the Ben Honeycutworship leader for The Church @ Catoosa in Ringold, Georgia.  He lives in Fort Ogelthorpe, GA with is wife Ashley. Candlefuse was an openly Christian band with a mission statement that started: “With purpose, poetry, and passion, we choose to follow Jesus Christ  and the ministry example He set…”. Candlefuse‘s two releases, Never Go Unheard Candlefuse - Never Go Unheard and Talking to The Wind Candlefuse - Talking to the Wind - EP, feature Ben Honeycutt on lead vocals.  On Never Go Unheard, Candlefuse covers the worship fave “Hungry”.  They take that atmospheric worship song and give it a strong metal twist, pretty cool.  Candlefuse broke up in November 2008 and Ben Honeycutt has been leading worship ever since. In his “golden ticket” interview Ben Honeycutt cites the break-up of Candlefuse as a driver for him to audition for American Idol Season 9.

Hear he is solo, singing “Pride (In The Name of Love)”

We did not see much of him in the Atlanta auditions but look out for Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt in Hollywood.