James Durbin (singer)

James Durbin

Durbin performing on the American Idols Live Tour
Background information
Birth name James William Durbin
Born (1989-01-06) January 6, 1989
Origin Santa Cruz, California, U.S.
Genres Rock, hard rock, post-grunge, pop rock
Occupation(s) Singer, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2006–present
Labels 19, Wind-up
Website www.durbinrock.com

James William Durbin[1] (born January 6, 1989) is an American singer and guitarist from Santa Cruz, California,[2] who finished in fourth place on the tenth season of American Idol.

Early life

Durbin was born in 1989 to Judy Settle-Durbin, a dentist's daughter, and Willy Durbin, a bass player, who died of a heroin overdose when James was nine.[3] He announced during his aired audition on American Idol that he was upset he didn't have the chance to know his father well. He was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome shortly after his father died.[3] He attended Musicschool, a music school run by Dale Ockerman in Santa Cruz instead of a traditional school. Durbin never graduated from high school.[4] Durbin cites popular bands My Chemical Romance and Thirty Seconds to Mars as his inspirations for his music.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

He was the lead singer in a band called Hollywood Scars,[8] 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 Mötley Crüe,[9] 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.[10] He has also sung country music.[2]


American Idol


Durbin had previously auditioned for American Idol in Season 8, but was not chosen.[2]

Durbin was eliminated in the Top 4 on season 10, but despite his elimination, he received a homecoming previously reserved for Top 3 contestants,[11] the first time such an exception on the homecoming policy was made by the show.[12] Footage of his homecoming, dubbed the "Durbin Day",[13] 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.[14]

Performances and results

Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "You Shook Me" Muddy Waters N/A Advanced
"Dream On" Aerosmith
Hollywood Round, Part 1 First Solo "Oh! Darling" The Beatles N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 2 Group Performance "Somebody to Love" Queen N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 3 Second Solo "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Aerosmith N/A Advanced
Las Vegas Round Songs of The Beatles
Group Performance
"Get Back" The Beatles N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round Final Final Solo "A Change Is Gonna Come" Sam Cooke N/A Advanced
Top 24 (12 Men) Personal Choice "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" Judas Priest 6 Advanced
Top 13 Your Personal Idol "Maybe I'm Amazed" Paul McCartney 6 Safe
Top 12 Year You Were Born "I'll Be There for You" Bon Jovi 4 Safe
Top 11 Motown "Living for the City" Stevie Wonder 11 Safe
Top 111 Elton John "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" Elton John 7 Safe
Top 9 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" The Beatles 5 Safe
Top 8 Songs from the Movies "Heavy Metal" – Heavy Metal Sammy Hagar 8 Safe
Top 7 Songs from the 21st Century "Uprising" Muse 2 Safe
Top 6 Carole King Solo "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" The Shirelles 5 Safe
Duet "I'm into Something Good" with Jacob Lusk Earl-Jean 9
Top 5 Songs from Now and Then "Closer to the Edge" Thirty Seconds to Mars 1 Safe
"Without You" Badfinger 6
Top 4 Songs That Inspire "Don't Stop Believin'" Journey 1 Eliminated
Leiber & Stoller Songbook "Love Potion No. 9" The Clovers 8


After his elimination Durbin appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[15] Live with Regis and Kelly,[16] Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,[17] and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[18] 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.[19]

Durbin is being managed by 19 Entertainment, alongside fellow contestants Pia Toscano and Haley Reinhart.[20] It was announced that he was signed to Wind-up Records on September 5, 2011.[21]

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 American Idol. The tracks feature "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," "Uprising" and a previously unreleased recording of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)."

Memories of a Beautiful Disaster (2011-2012)

James Durbin performs at Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, March 2014

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,[22] as well as his favorite band Hardcore Superstar.[23] The album was produced by Howard Benson.[24] 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.[25] 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,[26] and sold 28,000 the first week.[27] Two singles were released to radio simultaneously - "Love Me Bad" was released to Top 40 radio stations, while "Stand Up" was released to rock radio.[28]

Durbin released a Christmas single, "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" on November 27, 2012, which was an exclusive prime at Yahoo! Music.[29]

Celebrate (2013-2014)

Durbin's second album, Celebrate was released April 8, 2014. The first single from the album is titled "Parachute" and was released on November 22, 2013.[30]

Third record (2015-present)

In 2015, Durbin raised funds for his third album via PledgeMusic.[31] On November 27, He released a Christmas EP, A Thrill of Hope. He released the video for his first single "Smackdown" through Loudwire.com and YouTube on April 2, 2016.[32]

On April 7, 2016, Durbin returned to Idol for the final episode of the fifteenth season.

Personal life

Durbin and his wife, Heidi Lowe,[33] have a son named Hunter [2] and a daughter, Kinzee Cruz.[34] The couple were married on December 31, 2011.[35] He has a passion for pro wrestling.[36][37]


Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart
Memories of a Beautiful Disaster
  • Release date: November 21, 2011
  • Label: Wind-up
  • Format: CD, digital download
36 25 8
  • Release date: April 8, 2014[39]
  • Label: Wind-up
  • Format: CD, digital download
83 14
Riot on Sunset
  • Release date: July 15, 2016
  • Independent Release
  • Format: CD, Vinyl, download

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart

American Idol Season 10
Highlights: James Durbin
  • Release date: June 28, 2011
  • Label: 19, Interscope
  • Format: Digital download
31 7 52


Year Single Peak chart positions Sales Album
2011 "Stand Up" 39 Memories of a Beautiful Disaster
"Love Me Bad" 32
2012 "Higher Than Heaven"
"Santa Claus Is Back in Town" Non-album single
2013 "Parachute" Celebrate
2016 "Smackdown"


  1. "Free Family Tree, Genealogy and Family History - MyHeritage".
  2. 1 2 3 4 "'Idol' threat: Santa Cruz's James Durbin talks about music, fame and his life-changing experience at the eye of the "American Idol" hurricane". Santa Cruz Sentinel. March 13, 2011. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  3. 1 2 "How James Durbin Overcame Tourette's and Asperger's to Enter the Top 24". Wetpaint. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  4. "Santa Cruz Fans Try to Reach Out to American Idol Contender James Durbin". Santa Cruz Patch. February 16, 2011. Archived from the original on August 31, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  5. "Wind-Up Records - Official Website".
  6. "The book of James: The amazing journey of James Durbin to 'American Idol". Santa Cruz Sentinel. February 17, 2011. Archived from the original on August 31, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  7. "Go James! ASSR featured singer James Durbin rocks American Idol". ArtAndScienceOfSound.com. February 10, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  8. "American Idol 2011: James Durbin likes to sing about 'sex with women'". Unrealitytv.com. February 20, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  9. "Hollywood Scars MySpace Page". MySpace.
  10. "James Durbin's Bio". American Idol Contestants. April 24, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  11. MacDonald, Brady (May 17, 2011). "'American Idol' rocker James Durbin returns home for Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk concert.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  12. "'American Idol' will let James Durbin homecoming in Santa Cruz go on". Priyo Internet Life. May 14, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  13. "Durbinomics gives Santa Cruz businesses a boost". Santa Cruz Sentinel. May 18, 2011. Archived from the original on August 31, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  14. "James Durbin's Judas Priest Performance On 'Idol' Causes Steven Tyler To Yell Expletives". Popcrush. March 1, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  15. "Eliminated 'American Idol' Contestant James Durbin Performs Judas Priest Classic On 'Leno'". Blabbermouth.net. May 15, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  16. "'Idol' James Durbin: 'Tour is most special part'". Digital spy. May 17, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  17. "Watch James Durbin, Jimmy Fallon & Randy Jackson Jam Out to Journey!". OK Magazine. May 18, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  18. "Ellen Tells James Durbin She Had Him Pegged As The 'Idol' Winner". Idolator. May 19, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  19. "New York City Viewers Tune in Thursday, September 15 for a new documentary about Tourette Syndrome "Different is the New Normal" on WNET Thirteen at 8:00 pm". Tourette Syndrome Association. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  20. Mansfield, Brian (June 24, 2011). "Four for Friday: Idols get management deals and more". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  21. Halperin, Shirley (September 6, 2011). "'American Idol' Finalist James Durbin Signs With Wind-Up Records". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  22. "James Durbin Rocks It with James Michael and Marti Frederiksen". Wetpaint. May 13, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  23. "Exclusive! James Durbin on Tour Life and Having His Fave Band Write for Him". Wetpaint Entertainment. August 26, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  24. "'American Idol' Alum James Durbin Sets Album Release Date, Title". Hollywood Reporter. September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  25. "James Durbin, Jordin Sparks place tracks on NFL compilation". USATODAY.COM.
  26. Billboard Charts week ending December 10, 2011
  27. 1 2 Mansfield, Brian (2011-11-30). "Daughtry's 129,000 sales 'Spell' a top-ten debut". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  28. "James Durbin Love Me Bad Video Preview (a top story)::James Durbin News ::antiMusic.com".
  29. "James Durbin's "Santa Claus Is Back In Town": Exclusive Audio Premiere!". November 12, 2012.
  30. "James Durbin - New Single Artwork – "Parachute"".
  31. "James Durbin: New album pre-order!".
  32. "James Durbin, 'Smackdown'- Exclusive Video Premiere".
  33. ColoradoSprings.com. "Idol Rocker James Durbin Getting Married". People. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  34. "James Durbin Welcomes Daughter Kinzee Cruz – Moms & Babies – Celebrity Babies and Kids - Moms & Babies - People.com". PEOPLE.com.
  35. "James Durbin's Rock 'N Roll Wedding Video". People. January 9, 2012.
  36. "DurbinRock". Twitter. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  37. "Hulk Hogan Poses with James Durbin, Jericho Puts Over Hulk's "American Idol" Gig". Headline Planet. March 25, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  38. "HITS Daily Double: Upcoming Releases". HDD. 2012-02-24. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  39. "'American Idol': James Durbin Announces New Single". The Hollywood Reporter.
  40. Mansfield, Brian (July 6, 2011). "David Cook, Scotty McCreery get Top 10 debuts". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  41. "'American Idol' and Billboard: James Durbin, Haley Reinhart Become 55th and 56th Finalists on Charts". Billboard. July 7, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  42. "Nielsen SoundScan Charts". Jam! Showbiz. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  43. Rutherford, Kevin (2012-01-19). "'American Idol' Season 10: Where Are They Now?". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  44. 1 2 "Kelly Clarkson's track sales get 'Stronger' by the week". USATODAY.COM.
  45. "Clarkson, Underwood dominate 'Idol' track sales". USATODAY.COM.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.