Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox
Background information
Birth name Crystal Lynn Bowersox
Born (1985-08-04) August 4, 1985
Origin Elliston, Ohio, United States
Genres Rock, americana, indie folk, acoustic, blues, gospel, soul, blues-rock, country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actress
Instruments Vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, piano, flute
Years active 2010–present
Labels Jive/19 (2010–2011)
Shanachie Records (2012–)

Crystal Lynn Bowersox (born August 4, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter and actress, who was the runner-up on the ninth season of American Idol. She was the first female finalist in three years.

Bowersox's debut album, Farmer's Daughter, was released on December 14, 2010 by Jive Records. Bowersox released her second album, All That for This, on March 26, 2013.

Early life

Bowersox and her twin brother, Karl, were born in Elliston, Ohio[1] to Kelly Lynn Bowersox (née Bowlander) and William Lester Bowersox.[2] Bowersox was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age six. She attended Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, Ohio, and later attended the Toledo School for the Arts in Toledo, Ohio.[1] She was in choir and played flute in the school marching band. Bowersox performed her first professional gig at the age of 10. She appeared at local bars in Toledo, most popularly Papa's Tavern, and The Village Idiot in Maumee, Ohio. At the age of 17, she moved to Chicago looking for opportunity. She most commonly played as a busker at several train stations, including the Washington and Lake Redline stops. She frequented open mics, such as the In One Ear show at the Heartland Cafe, and Uncommon Ground Clark and Grace, and Devon locations. She also played extensively in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. In 2006, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs chose Bowersox to represent Chicago folk musicians in the Sister Cities program "Experience Chicago", held in Birmingham, England. In 2007, Bowersox traveled internationally on an independent small cafe tour, including Memphis, Tennessee, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey.

American Idol

Bowersox auditioned for American Idol in Chicago, Illinois. She sang "Piece of My Heart." Guest judge Shania Twain commented that she had a "raw, natural talent."[3]

On March 2, 2010, Bowersox was hospitalized due to Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from type 1 diabetes, forcing a last minute switch in scheduling to give her extra time to recuperate. Bowersox confirmed the illness on the May 19, 2010 results show during an interview with host Ryan Seacrest.[4][5] The men competed that day instead of the women. She sang the next day and impressed all of the judges.[6]

The following week, her strong performance prompted Simon Cowell to state, "Right now, you are the one everyone has to beat."[7]

After Siobhan Magnus's elimination from the top 6 of American Idol, Bowersox became the last remaining female contestant in the competition.

Bowersox is the first female contestant to make it to the finale since Jordin Sparks won the title in 2007. She is also the first contestant in American Idol history to have one of their original songs played on the show, or at least during their hometown package.[8] Crystal's original song "Holy Toledo" was played on the May 19 Top 3 Results show as the background music for her homecoming package - when she returned to Toledo, Ohio and Elliston, Ohio the previous weekend - and segued into her live performance of the same song at "Bowerstock".

During her time on Idol, Bowersox dated Tony Kusian, but the couple broke up just hours before the Idol finale.[9]

On the final performance day, in Simon Cowell's final critique on American Idol, he called her performance of "Up to the Mountain" "outstanding" and "by far, the best performance and song of the night".

On May 26, 2010, Bowersox was named runner-up to winner Lee DeWyze. She announced that after her Idol career, she wants to bring more awareness to type 1 diabetes.[10]

Bowersox is the third Idol Runner-Up behind Clay Aiken and David Archuleta to never be in the Bottom 3 or Bottom 2.


Episode Theme Song choice Original recording artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "Piece of My Heart" Erma Franklin N/A Advanced
Hollywood Week First Solo "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Aretha Franklin N/A Advanced
Hollywood Week Group Round "Get Ready" The Temptations N/A Advanced
Hollywood Week Second Solo "If It Makes You Happy" Sheryl Crow N/A Advanced
Top 24 (12 Women) Billboard Hot 100 Hits "Hand in My Pocket" Alanis Morissette 11 Safe
Top 20 (10 Women) "Long as I Can See the Light" Creedence Clearwater Revival 1 Safe
Top 16 (8 Women) "Give Me One Reason" Tracy Chapman 7 Safe
Top 12 The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want" The Rolling Stones 12 Safe
Top 11 Billboard Number 1 Hits "Me and Bobby McGee" Roger Miller 5 Safe
Top 10 R&B/Soul "Midnight Train to Georgia" Cissy Houston 9 Safe
Top 9 Lennon–McCartney "Come Together" The Beatles 5 Safe
Top 91 Elvis Presley "Saved" LaVern Baker 1 Safe
Top 7 Inspirational "People Get Ready" The Impressions 7 Safe
Top 6 Shania Twain "No One Needs to Know" Shania Twain 4 Safe
Top 5 Frank Sinatra "Summer Wind" Wayne Newton 3 Safe
Top 4 Songs of the Cinema Duet "Falling Slowly" — Once with Lee DeWyze Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová 3 Safe2
Solo "I'm Alright" — Caddyshack Kenny Loggins 5
Top 3 Contestant's Choice "Come to My Window" Melissa Etheridge 2 Safe
Judges' Choice3 "Maybe I'm Amazed" Paul McCartney 5
Top 2 Contestant's Choice "Me and Bobby McGee" Roger Miller 2 Runner-up
Simon Fuller's Choice "Black Velvet" Alannah Myles 4
First Single "Up to the Mountain" Solomon Burke 6

Post-Idol career

On May 27, 2010, one day after Bowersox's second place Idol finish, it was announced that she had signed with 19 Entertainment/Jive Records.[12] Her single "Up to the Mountain" has since been released to radio stations and iTunes.

2010–12: Farmer's Daughter

Bowersox's debut album Farmer's Daughter was released to stores and iTunes on December 14, 2010. Bowersox performed her single "Farmer's Daughter" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on December 16, 2010.

On October 7, 2011 RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, all other artists previously signed to these three labels would see their future material released under the RCA Records brand.[13][14] However, Bowersox was not one of the artists who made the move, and was instead left without a record label.

She made her acting debut on a second season episode of Body of Proof.[15][16]

An EP of pre-Idol recordings was called Once Upon a Time... was self-released in June 2012.

She was a guest on the Blues Traveler album Suzie Cracks the Whip performing back-up vocals on the song "I Don't Wanna Go" and appeared with them in concert at their July 4, 2012 concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

2012–present: All That for This

In October 2012 Bowersox signed a recording deal with Shanachie Records.[17]

On January 7, 2013, it was confirmed that Bowersox's sophomore studio album, All That for This, would be released March 26, 2013.[18] The album was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and features Jakob Dylan.[19] Bowersox debuted the first single from the album, "Dead Weight", on On Air with Ryan Seacrest on February 5, 2013. Bowersox told Seacrest, "This song means more to me than even I can completely comprehend."[18]

Bowersox began a headlining tour in support of the album on March 1, 2013. The band Montë Mar was her concert opener, as well as her backing band on dates through March 31, 2013.[20][21] On March 25, 2013 Bowersox appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and performed her song "Movin' On" to promote the album. It was announced here that Bowersox will play Patsy Cline in the Broadway production of Always, Patsy Cline.[22] It was announced on June 11, 2013 that Bowersox would be headlining the Lancaster Festival in Lancaster, Ohio on June 27, 2013[23]


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak Certifications
2010 Farmer's Daughter[24] 28 2 8 90
2013 All That for This 71 21

Digital albums

Year Album Peak Sales
2010 Season 9 Favorite Performances 6[27] 38
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays

List of EPs with relevant details
Year Title EP details
2012 Once Upon a Time...
  • Released: May 29, 2012
  • Label: self-release
  • Format: Digital download, CD
2014 Promises
  • Release date: September 23, 2014 [29]
  • Label: Mamasox
  • Format: CD, digital download


Year Single Peak Album
US[27] CAN
2010 "Up to the Mountain" 57 47 Non-album single
"Farmer's Daughter" 73 Farmer's Daughter
2013 "Movin' On" All That for This
"Dead Weight"
"Coming Out for Christmas" Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Digital singles

Year Single Peak Album
US[27] CAN
2010 "Falling Slowly" (with Lee DeWyze) 66 70 non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Song Director(s)
2010 "Farmer's Daughter" Meiert Avis
2013 "Dead Weight" Tiger Tiger


Year Title Role Other notes
2011 Body of Proof Zoe Brant Episode: "Second Chances"

Awards and nominations

Year Presenter Award Result
2010 Teen Choice Awards Female Reality/Variety Star Nominated


  1. 1 2 "Where Crystal Bowersox comes from - tribunedigital-chicagotribune". 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  2. "Birth Record of Crystal Lynn Bowersox". MooseRoots. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  3. Alex Strachan (May 21, 2010). "Bowersox an Idol to idolize". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  4. Bella Horton (March 3, 2010). "Crystal Bowersox Hospital: 2010 American Idol Contestant Hospitalized for Diabetes?". CNN. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  5. "Crystal Bowersox's 'American Idol' Future Uncertain". Associated Press. March 3, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  6. "Crystal Bowersox Wows "Idol" Judges". CBS News. Associated Press. March 4, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  7. James Montgomery (March 9, 2010). "Crystal Bowersox's 'Give Me One Reason' Dominates 'American Idol'". MTV. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  8. Slezak, Michael (2010-05-22). "'Idolatry': Breaking down the Crystal-Lee finale (and bidding adieu to Casey) on 'American Idol' |". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  9. "Crystal Bowersox and Boyfriend Split Before Idol Finale". People. 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  10. "Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze dish on judges' picks, why viewers should vote for them". USA Today. May 20, 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  11. Archived May 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. "American Idol Finalists Sign Record Deals". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  13. Christman, Ed (2011-08-23). "RCA's New Executive Team Named Under CEO Peter Edge Amid Layoffs (Update)". Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  14. "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  15. Slezak, Michael (2011-10-25). "Crystal Bowersox on Body of Proof Season 2, Episode 6, Second Chances". TVLine. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  16. Stanhope, Kate (2011-10-24). "Crystal Bowersox Makes Her Acting Debut on Body of Proof: "I Was Pretty Insecure" - Today's News: Our Take". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  17. "American Idol's Crystal Bowersox Signs Label Deal With Shanachie". Hollywood Reporter. 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  18. 1 2 3 Mansfield, Bryan (February 5, 2013). "Crystal Bowersox unveils new single". USA Today. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  19. "New Crystal Bowersox Album Set for March (PHOTO)". Retrieved 2014-07-12.
  20. "Monte Mar February 28, 2013 status". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  21. "Tour Dates". Monte Mar. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  22. "Crystal Bowersox on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Video: 'Movin' On' Performance March 25, 2013". Shallow Nation. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  23. "Bowersox to perform at Lancaster Festival". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  24. 1 2 "Twitter / crystalbowersox: @Ronda73 " farmers daughter"". Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  25. "'American Idol': With Scotty McCreery's Successful Debut, Did Universal Learn From Sony's Mistakes?". The Hollywood Reporter. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  26. Mansfield, Brian (April 3, 2013). "Colton Dixon sales soar after 'Idol' performance". USA Today.
  27. 1 2 3 Trust, Gary (June 3, 2010). "Chart Beat Thursday: Lee & Crystal Rock On". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  28. Caulfield, Keith (June 2, 2010). "'Idols' Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox Impact Billboard Charts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  29. "Crystal Bowersox - Promises - Music". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
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