Chris Richardson Biography
Richardson was born in Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Hospital in Belgium to Phyllis and Danny Richardson. His father spent 20 years in the Air Force. Richardson moved to Chesapeake, Virginia, in 1999. He admitted during the March 6, 2007 edition of American Idol that he used to be overweight as a child and teenager. He has lost roughly forty pounds and has become more health conscious; it is reported that he was always motivating his fellow Idols to work out and care about their health and appearance. He graduated from Great Bridge High School in 2002 and studied music composition at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, for a year, playing football there as well. He continued his musical studies at Tidewater Community College. Before Idol, Richardson was a kitchen supervisor for a Hooters restaurant.
Chris plays guitar, drums and piano. His favorite male singers include Jason Mraz, JT, James Brown, and Michael Jackson. His favorite female artists are early 1990s Mariah Carey, and Christina Aguilera. He has a Bulldog named Tommy.
Chris and fellow idol Blake Lewis had said on Chris' elimination night that they are best friends.
On January 9, 2012 he signed to Birdman's label Cash Money Records.
Richardson had auditioned for American Idol in two previous seasons before being cast on season 6. Richardson auditioned in New York, holding number 8963. The judges warmed to him, and he got through the audition process. Richardson was grouped with Paul Kim and AJ Tabaldo in the Hollywood group round.
During American Idol, Chris received many comparisons to Justin Timberlake, including from judge Randy Jackson. But, he adds, those who've drawn the connection should listen to his album when it comes out and then decide if it still holds. "To be even mentioned in the same sentence as someone so successful, it's great," Richardson told the Associated Press on Thursday the day after his elimination in a phone interview. "They might be surprised whenever I come out with my album, that it's completely different than his. So that's when other people might one day be, like `Hey, you sort of sound like Chris Richardson.'"
Richardson participated in the Season 6 tour along with the rest of the Top 10 after Season six ended.
He started working on his debut album after the tour, then tentatively titled Come Right Back to You, which he said will be a mix of both rock, soul/R&B. "It'll be a mixture of a Maroon 5 sound with a little bit of Jason Mraz," said Richardson. "I love rock and roll but I have this soulful type voice and I just like to infuse both of them."
On February 22, 2008, a new song leaked onto the internet from Richardson, entitled "All Alone." The song was then released commercially, being available on iTunes among other places. Richardson performs the song on over 30 radio/tv stations as part of his 10 city tour, sponsored by Dreyers. On May 20, 2008, the album was put on the fast track and was recorded in LA, Miami and Virginia. Producers include Ill Factor (Matisyahu, Ginuwine, Ricky Martin), Brent Paschke (Gwen Stefani, Jesse McCartney, Backstreet Boys)and Troy "Radio" Johnson (Will Smith).
Richardson co-wrote the track "What'cha Got 2 Lose?" on Blake Lewis' debut album A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream), as well as the bonus track "Human" released exclusively via iTunes. He has also said in an interview that he has written songs for winner Jordin Sparks and Phil Stacey and plans on writing with Gina Glocksen.
On April 19, 2008, Richardson appeared as a surprise guest at Jason Mraz's "Music, Magic, and Makepeace Tour". He sang a duet with Mraz called "Geek in the Pink". On March 20, 2009, Richardson was the opening act for Josh Hoge in New York City at the Canal Room, performing a couple of songs (including his iTunes single, "All Alone").
In May 2009, he appeared on the red carpet for the American Idol finale, as well as a "Relay for Life" charity event at Currituck County High School. He also sang in the Season 9 finale of American Idol in 2010 with other seasons' finalists in a tribute to Simon Cowell's last show.
In 2011, Richardson collaborated with Tyga on the single "Far Away". The single was released on May 17, 2011 and reached number 86 in Billboard Hot 100.
In 2012, Richardson signed a record deal with YMCMB.