James Durbin Biography
Durbin was born in 1989 to Judy Settle-Durbin and Willy Durbin. His father, a musician, died of a drug overdose when Durbin was nine. He announced during his aired audition on American Idol, he was upset he didn't get a chance to know his father well. He was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome shortly after his father died. He attended Musicscool, a music school run by Dale Ockerman in Santa Cruz instead of a traditional school. Durbin never graduated from High School.
In 2006, he performed in a Santa Cruz children's theater group called Kids on Broadway and played the lead role in Grease and Beauty and the Beast. In 2007, he played the leading roles of Tony in West Side Story and Oscar in Sweet Charity—both productions produced by All About Theatre, a Santa Cruz community theatre company. In 2008, Durbin appeared in Alan Parsons' "Art & Science of Sound Recording" educational video series, recording a version of Parsons' "We Play The Game" at Ex'pression College for Digital Arts.
He was the lead singer in a metal band called Hollywood Scars, where he went by the stage name of Jimmy Levox. Influenced by bands such as Metallica, Pantera, Judas Priest, Dream Theater, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden and Motley Crue, Hollywood Scars drew their inspiration from the glitz, glam, and decadence of Hollywood's Sunset Strip in the 1980s and early 1990s. The band released a single entitled "Under The Cherry Tree". He was also in a band called Whatever Fits. He has also sung country music.
Durbin had previously auditioned for American Idol in Season 8, but was not chosen.
Durbin was eliminated in the Top 4 on season 10, but despite his elimination, he received a homecoming previously reserved for Top 3 contestants, the first time such an exception on the homecoming policy was made by the show. Footage of his homecoming, dubbed the "Durbin Day", was shown briefly on the Top 3 performance show.
He appeared on the American Idol Season 10 finale, singing "Livin' After Midnight" and "Breaking the Law" alongside British heavy metal band Judas Priest.
After his elimination Durbin appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Regis and Kelly, Today, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Along with the rest of the Top 11 finalists, he participated in the American Idol Tour that season.
He appeared in a documentary, Different Is The New Normal, that focused on a teen's effort to overcome Tourette syndrome.
Durbin is being managed by 19 Entertainment, alongside fellow contestants Pia Toscano and Haley Reinhart. It was announced that he was signed to the independent music label Wind-up Records on September 5, 2011.
On May 28, 2011, Durbin and the other American Idol top 4 performed at the opening of the new Microsoft Store at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, Georgia.
Durbin, along with fellow contestants Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and Haley Reinhart, released a Walmart Exclusive EP with his highlights from season 10 on American Idol. The tracks feature some of his popular performances such as "Will you still Love me Tomorrow" and "Uprising" as well as a previously unreleased recording of "Good Riddance (Time of your life)"
Memories of a Beautiful Disaster (2011)
Durbin started working on his debut album after appearing on American Idol, and wrote with a number of people, such as James Michael and Marti Frederiksen, as well as his favorite band Hardcore Superstar. The album was produced by Howard Benson. He recorded a track entitled "Stand Up" for the album Official Gameday Music of the NFL, Volume 2 which was released for sale on September 27, 2011. The song was also included in his album.
On November 21, 2011, Durbin released the album, titled Memories of a Beautiful Disaster. The album debuted at number 36 on the Billboard 200, at number eight on the Billboard Rock Chart, number 25 on the Digital Album Chart, and sold 28,000 the first week. Two singles were released to radio at the same time - "Love Me Bad" was released to Top 40 radio stations, while "Stand Up" was released to rock radio.