July 14, 1978-

Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Raised in Birmingham, Alabama

In 2003, Ruben Studdard was catapulted to fame in the second season of the Fox talent show, American Idol

Ruben grew up singing. He loved singing in churches and high school groups. After high school Ruben acquired a football scholarship to Alabama A&M University. Even though his scholarship was for football, Ruben took Voice as his major. In 2000, after graduating from college, he auditioned for the Fox talent search show, American Idol

Ruben was able to make it past Simon Cowell and the other judges, to become a favorite.

In May of 2003, Ruben won first place in the competition and beat Clay Aiken by over 140,000 votes. Millions of viewers were enthralled by the smooth R&B voice of the "Velvet Teddy Bear".

Shortly after winning Ruben was able to produce his first single, a cover of the Westlife song, "Flying Without Wings". He then made a huge 39-city tour with his fellow idols, then he completed his debut album, Soulful

Personally, I think his voice is awesome. He has terrific tone for the kind of music he sings. Our world is starting to produce stars like Ruben Studdard through so-called reality shows and it makes me think that I might be able to be famous someday.

I've never been a fan of American Idol, but I guess you have to give a homeboy like Ruben credit for being able to sustain his fame, if at least for a little while.

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