Brooke White Biography
Brooke Elizabeth White was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised in nearby Mesa with three younger siblings (Katie, Tyler, and Quinn) and her parents, Brad and Kaylene, and is of English descent. She also has family members in Nova Scotia, Canada.
White started singing at 16 when she tried out for the high school musical, Meet Me in St. Louis, and earned the lead role. White graduated high school from Heritage Academy in 2001. She at one time attended beauty school, describing herself as a "beauty school dropout," and shared on Idol that she started doing hair when she was eleven years old. She spent four years in Los Angeles, CA working with producer/manager Tim Simms honing her craft as an aspiring singer-songwriter prior to auditioning for American Idol and also spent a year as a nanny for twin baby girls. During her elimination video on American Idol, White stated "It's probably not a secret that I struggled with my own confidence, but I'm stronger than I thought I was and that's a great thing to get out of this." White currently resides in Van Nuys, California with her husband. White is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
White performing during the American Idols Live! Tour 2008.
White auditioned for American Idol in Philadelphia, where she sang "Like a Star" and received a positive review from all the judges. During her audition, she admitted to never having seen an R-rated movie, prompting Cowell to state that he could "bring her over to the dark side." During the Hollywood week, White performed "Beautiful" by Carole King, accompanying herself on piano. After that performance, judges were quick to point out that Brooke reminded them of a young Carly Simon or Carole King. Since top 24, White has accompanied herself on guitar for her performances of "You're So Vain", "Jolene", and "I'm a Believer", and on piano for "Let It Be", "Every Breath You Take", "Hero", and "I Am...I Said". Judge Simon Cowell chose White early as one of his four favorites in the competition when he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on March 17, 2008. During the 1970s week, while White was performing "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon, she stared at Simon Cowell. It caught the judges' attention and received good reviews from them. White performed an acoustic version of "Love Is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar in the next week to good reviews as well. During the Lennon/McCartney week, she performed "Let It Be", a classic song by The Beatles. Randy Jackson said it was a very heartfelt performance and Simon Cowell said it was one of the best of the night, believable, and he thought Brooke picked good song choices in the past three weeks. Andrew Lloyd Webber was impressed the most by White and predicted a big night for her, but three lines into her performance of "You Must Love Me", White apologized, stopped the band, and re-started the song from the beginning. She later explained, "I lost the lyric." Simon Cowell stated that he would have done the same thing, had he been in her situation. It was the first time in the show's history that a contestant re-started a performance after a song had started (She previously started "Every Breath You Take" on an odd note, so she started over right at the beginning). Despite this, she was the third contestant on the April 23, 2008 results show to be named safe while Carly Smithson went home. When White performed "I'm a Believer" and "I Am...I Said" during Neil Diamond week, she changed the lyrics, as suggested by Neil Diamond, in the latter song from "I'm New York City born and raised" to "I'm Arizona born and raised" to make the song her own. White was in the bottom three three times, once on April 2 after her Dolly Parton song "Jolene", again on April 16 after her Mariah Carey performance of "Hero", and she was eliminated on April 30, 2008 after her performances of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer" and Neil Diamond's "I Am...I Said".
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, White stated she will continue focusing on recording and that she received a call from Carly Simon. When asked about returning as a nanny of the twins, White said that the family joked that they would give her a raise if she went back, and she said that she didn't mind babysitting every once in a while. After her elimination, White made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on May 1, 2008, Live with Regis and Kelly and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 5, 2008, The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet on May 6, 2008, Good Day L.A. and Access Hollywood. She also filmed an appearance on MTV's Total Request Live on May 6, 2008. While on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen DeGeneres cut White's husband David's hair, since he had vowed not to cut it until Brooke was eliminated from Idol. She performed "You're So Vain" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet and Access Hollywood. White shot a video for the VH1 TV show Best Week Ever, called "Brooke White Starts And Stops The Classics". In the video, White mocks herself and starts and stops while singing some classic songs. White returned to the Idol stage for the season finale, and performed along with the other Top 12 contestants. She also sang "Teach Your Children" with Graham Nash. White filmed a commercial with fellow finalists, Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson, she has become the spokeswoman for “Save The World Summer”, a campaign launched by Malaria No More and Idol Gives Back. White stated in an interview that she would not sign a record deal until the tour finished. "There are definitely certain things I have to abide with in my American Idol contract. I won't be signing anything until three months after the show is over. That doesn't mean I'm not looking ahead and preparing for the future. The point of doing the show was not just to be on TV but to launch into a real career." White completed the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008, which ran from July 1, 2008 to September 13, 2008. She performed "Let It Be" by the Beatles, "1234" by Feist, and "Yellow" by Coldplay (which is also included on White's debut album Songs From the Attic. White was on the Fall 2008 cover of Eliza magazine. The cover was accompanied by an eight page fashion story and article. On September 27, 2008 (proclaimed by the mayor of Mesa to be "Brooke White Day"), Brooke White visited her hometown of Mesa, AZ, and signed autographs at Milano Music Center and performing at the Mesa Amphitheater. The performance was free to the public; however, donations to Malaria No More were accepted. The event was sponsored by the Mesa Convention Center, Milano Music Center, and Malaria No More. White also appeared at NAMM and did an impromptu performance of "You're So Vain" at the Gibson booth. She launched BrookeWhiteMusic.net as her official website, but later announced on her twitter that the new official site was RealBrookeWhite.com She sang "Dancing a Catchy Rhythm" with Jennifer Hudson for the Walt Disney World Paris parade. White also collaborated with Michael Johns for a song called, Life is Okay. White performed the song with Johns. She and fellow Idol alumn Michael Johns performed joint concerts in September 2009. She will appear solo at a concert in Washington, DC on October 10, 2009. On November 10, 2009, an exclusive holiday EP by White was released on iTunes, and contained the songs "Away in a Manger", "Blue Christmas" and "California Christmas".
Songs from the Attic (2005–2007)
White's debut album, Songs from the Attic was released nationwide in the US by the independent record label New Millennium Records Group in 2005, and was produced and co-written by Tim Simms. Songs from the Attic is a full length 11 song album which contains some of White's first songs she ever wrote and recorded. The album also contains cover versions of Aerosmith's "Dream On" and Coldplay's "Yellow". White's first music video was from a song off Songs from the Attic entitled , "Free", which was directed by Braden Barty and produced by Tim Simms. In the video, she acts out her story as a beauty school dropout who moves to Hollywood to pursue a singing career. Songs from the Attic was re-released after White was eliminated from American Idol.
High Hopes & Heartbreak (2009-present)
On January 31, White announced said she signed with Sanctuary Artist Management instead of earlier reported Sanctuary Records. She also announced that the title of her new album would be called High Hopes & Heartbreak. On February 25, 2009, White released her first single "Hold Up My Heart," written entirely by White herself. The song featured a piano riff that repeated throughout with a mid-tempo beat. White returned to American Idol to perform her debut single on the February 26 results show, playing the keyboard to accompany the song. White announced May 2009 that she started her own record label "June Baby Records" with Randy Jackson, and her first post-Idol album, High Hopes & Heartbreak, would be available July 21, 2009. The second single off the album "Radio Radio" was available on iTunes on June 23. The album was originally supposed to be dropped on June 2, 2009, but was postponed to release a little more than two months later, as said in White's blog entry for the 15th of May. White held a live webcast at 5PM PST on the 9th of July 2009 and announced that she had teamed up with iTunes and her album High Hopes & Heartbreak was to be exclusively digitally released from the iTunes Store on the July 14, as well as the music video of her second single Radio Radio to be available for downloads free on the same date. During the webcast, she performed 3 songs on her album, including her single "Radio Radio", her cover of Use Somebody originally by the Kings of Leon and the title track off her album, "High Hopes & Heartbreak", all performed with her on the keyboard. A 'backstage pass' was also released in connection with The Republic Project, which allows purchasers to receive and view behind-the-scenes videos of the making of High Hopes & Heartbreak. 10 lucky purchasers of the backstage pass were chosen to attend the live webcast in Los Angelos, which streamed live on July 9 on Facebook and uStream. A Live Session EP was released on the October 13, 2009 exclusively on the iTunes Store. It consisted of five songs recorded live during her summer tour with fellow 'Idol' mate Michael Johns, and Benton Paul. The five songs included three acoustic and piano versions from "High Hopes & Heartbreak", a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" and a personal song White wrote, "Take it Away."
White cites her musical influences as the "soulful sounds of the 70s" such as the Carpenters, Carole King, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, the Eagles, America, Carly Simon, the Bee Gees, Hall & Oates, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, and Phil Collins. When asked on American Idol with whom she would like to do a duet, she named John Mayer as her choice for a modern artist. She also says if she could choose a partner for a "dream duet", she would choose Carole King, whom she cites as one of her main influences. She also cites Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood as her favorite former American Idol winners. Carly Simon, one of the singers who inspired White, said publicly her favorite contestant on Idol was Brooke. She was impressed with White's performance of "You're So Vain", and said that she thought, "Oh my God, this girl is so talented and she sings the song so much better than I ever did or ever could."