Phillip Phillips

This article is about the singer. For other people of a similar name, see Philip Phillips.
Phillip Phillips

Phillips at the Walmart Soundcheck, December 2013
Background information
Birth name Phillip LaDon Phillips Jr.
Born (1990-09-20) September 20, 1990
Albany, Georgia, U.S.
Origin Leesburg, Georgia, U.S.
Years active 2009–present

Phillip LaDon Phillips Jr. (born September 20, 1990)[1] is an American singer, songwriter and musician who won the eleventh season of American Idol on May 23, 2012. His coronation song, "Home," released after his win, became the best selling of all coronation songs. His debut album The World from the Side of the Moon was released on November 19, 2012. His second album, Behind the Light, was released on May 19, 2014.

Early life

Phillips was born in Albany, Georgia,[2] to Sheryl (Jacks) and Phillip LaDon "Donnie" Phillips, Sr., and moved to Leesburg, Georgia when he was 12.[3][4][5][6] He has two older sisters, LaDonna, the eldest, and Lacey.[7] Phillips grew up in Sasser and Leesburg, and attended Lee County High School.[8][9][10] He graduated from Albany Technical College with a major in Industrial Systems Technology, but missed the graduation ceremony due to his obligations to American Idol.[11] Prior to appearing on American Idol, he worked at his family's pawn shop.[12]

Phillips started playing music, particularly the guitar,[13] when he was 14. He was mentored by his long-time friend and brother-in-law, Benjamin Neil, whom he credits for piquing his interest in music.[14] In 2009, he formed the Phillip Phillips Band with Neil and another brother-in-law, Todd Urick, and performed in various local venues and events.[15] He won a local singing competition, "Albany Star," in 2010.[16]

Phillips' favorite singer is Jonny Lang, and other favorites include John Butler, Dave Matthews and Damien Rice,[17] and he also enjoyed Mumford & Sons and Tool.[14] He grew up mainly listening to '60s and '70s music like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin;[13]"Then as I got older I found Damien Rice and Dave Matthews and John Butler, which is what really set it off for me in terms of finding my voice as a musician."[13] He has described his music as "jazz and rock alternative sound."[18]

Prior to trying out for American Idol, he also auditioned on the second season of America's Got Talent but did not make it to its finals.[19]

American Idol


Phillips auditioned in Savannah, Georgia.[20] He sang "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder.[20][21] The judges then asked him to perform a second song with his guitar, and he performed Michael Jackson's "Thriller."[20][21] He advanced to the Hollywood rounds,[20] and later to the Las Vegas round.[22]

On February 23, 2012, Phillips was chosen as one of the Top 25 semi-finalists,[23] and was then voted into the Top 13.[10][24] His performance style on the show has been compared to Dave Matthews, and he covered one of his songs, "The Stone," in the competition.[25] When asked about Phillips' imitation of his style, Dave Matthews said: "More power to him, I don't mind," and added "He should kick my ass, [then] maybe I can retire and he can take over my band."[26]

After the Top 13 performance night, Phillips was taken to a doctor for possible kidney stones.[27][28] He had eight procedures while he was on Idol, and considered quitting the show due to the pain.[29][30]

For his Top 3 performance, Phillips sang Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight." As the sole contestant who was never in jeopardy of elimination in any week of the competition, Phillips became the winner on the finale against Jessica Sanchez after a record-breaking 132 million votes were cast.[31][32] His coronation song, "Home," was released after his performance, and had the biggest digital sales week for any Idol winner's coronation song.[33][34]

American Idol season 11 performances and results
Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "Superstition" Stevie Wonder N/A Advanced
"Thriller" Michael Jackson
Hollywood 1 First Solo "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" James Brown
Hollywood 2 Group Performance "Broken Strings"
with Heejun Han, Richie Law and Jairon Jackson
James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado
Hollywood 3 Second Solo "Wicked Game" Chris Isaak
Las Vegas Songs of the 1950s
Group Performance
"I Only Have Eyes for You"
with Neco Starr, Jairon Jackson and Heejun Han
Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler
Final Judgment Final Solo "Nice & Slow" Usher
Top 25 (13 Men) Personal Choice "In the Air Tonight" Phil Collins 9
Top 13 Stevie Wonder "Superstition" Stevie Wonder 13 Safe
Top 11 Year They Were Born "Hard to Handle" Otis Redding 1
Top 10 Billy Joel "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" Billy Joel 6
Top 9 Their Personal Idols Trio "Landslide" / "Edge of Seventeen" / "Don't Stop"
with Colton Dixon & Elise Testone
Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks 3
Solo "Still Rainin'" Jonny Lang 9
Top 8 Songs from the 1980s Solo "That's All" Genesis 4
Duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
with Elise Testone
Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 8
Top 7 Songs from the 2010s Duet "Somebody That I Used to Know"
with Elise Testone
Gotye feat. Kimbra 3
Solo "Give a Little More" Maroon 5 8
Top 71 Songs from Now & Then "U Got It Bad" Usher 4
"In the Midnight Hour" Wilson Pickett 11
Top 6 Queen "Fat Bottomed Girls" Queen 5
Contestant's Choice "The Stone" Dave Matthews Band 11
Top 5 Songs from the 1960s Solo "The Letter" The Box Tops 2
Duet "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
with Joshua Ledet
The Righteous Brothers 4
British Pop "Time of the Season" The Zombies 8
Top 4 California Dreamin' Solo "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" Creedence Clearwater Revival 1
Duet "This Love"
with Joshua Ledet
Maroon 5 5
Quartet "Waiting for a Girl Like You"
with Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet & Jessica Sanchez
Foreigner 7
Songs They Wish They'd Written "Volcano" Damien Rice 8
Top 3 Judges' Choice "Beggin'" The Four Seasons 3
Contestant's Choice "Disease" Matchbox Twenty 6
Jimmy Iovine's Choice "We've Got Tonight" Bob Seger 9
Finale Simon Fuller's Choice "Stand by Me" Ben E. King 2 Winner
Favorite Performance "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" Billy Joel 4
Winner's Single "Home" Phillip Phillips 6

Music career

Phillips at the American Idols Live! Tour in Seattle, July 2012

After winning American Idol, Phillips went on the American Idol LIVE Tour from July to September with the rest of the Top 10 finishers of season 11. He performed the National Anthem at the opening game of the 2012 World Series on October 24, 2012.[35] On November 15, he joined forces with the PS22 chorus of Staten Island for a concert to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.[36] He also performed at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on December 6, 2012.[37]

Phillips' coronation song, "Home," was a great success with sales of over 4 million copies in the US.[38] It has been used in NBC's coverage of the Olympics, L.A. Marathon, various commercials, film trailers, and TV shows.[39] He performed "Home" on the PBS Independence Day celebration TV special, A Capitol 4th.[40] He appeared at the 83rd MLB All-Star Game held at Kansas City on July 10 and sang his coronation song.[41] On October 9, 2012, he joined other musicians in the One World concert held in Syracuse University to honor the Dalai Lama.[42] He also performed "Home" on the CNN Heroes special aired on December 2, 2012,[43] and the CBS's A Home for the Holidays on December 19, 2012.[44]

2012–13: The World from the Side of the Moon

Phillips released his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, on November 19, 2012.[45][46] The album was produced by Gregg Wattenberg, with Phillips writing or co-writing the majority of the disc.[45] On November 6, 2012, "Where We Came From" was released in advance of the album as a free download on pre-order and for sale.[47] The album debuted at No. 4 in the Billboard 200 with sales of 169,000 copies,[48] and was certified Platinum by RIAA in August 2013.[49]

On January 29, 2013, Phillips began a tour in North America as the opening act for Matchbox Twenty.[50][51] He also headlined ten college dates in January with a four-piece acoustic band, and a further college tour with an electric band from March through May after his tour with Matchbox Twenty.[34] Nine of his college tour dates however were postponed due to his continuing health issue.[52] From July 6 to October 5, 2013, he toured as the opening act for John Mayer's Born and Raised World Tour,[53] followed by his own college tour and then further dates with John Mayer until December 17.[54] He also performed at the international music festival Rock in Rio, in Rio de Janeiro on September 21, the same day as John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen.[55] In 2014, a solo tour of Canada is also scheduled, as well as other dates in the US.[56]

The third single released from the album was "Where We Came From."[57]

"Gone, Gone, Gone" from the album was released as a single on February 11, 2013. Phillips performed the song live on the March 14, 2013 edition of American Idol. "Gone, Gone, Gone" was also used as the twelfth season's "send-off" song, played as the backing track for the montages that highlight each week's eliminated finalist.

2014–15: Behind the Light and lawsuits

Phillips performing in 2014

In March 2013, Phillips stated that he was "always writing" and that his second studio album would be released sometime in 2014.[58] The album, Behind the Light, was released on May 19, 2014.[59] The debut single, "Raging Fire," from his second album was released digitally on March 3, 2014. A promotional single, "Fly," was released alongside the album's pre-order on April 22, 2014.[60] Phillips toured with O.A.R. in the summer of 2014.[61]

In January 2015, Phillips filed a lawsuit against his label 19 Recordings, calling the producers manipulative and "oppressive."[62] In June 2016, 19 Entertainment filed a $6 million lawsuit against Phillips, alleging that he has been holding onto as much as $1 million of 19's money and that he should also be forced to pay at least $5 million for repudiating and breaching various agreements.[63]

2016–present: Upcoming third studio album and tour

On June 17, 2016, Phillips started a co-headlining tour with Matt Nathanson at the San Diego County Fair that will include concerts Las Vegas, Cincinnati, New York City and Asbury Park and ending on August 13 at the Wisconsin State Fair.[64] He has been working on his third album.

Personal life

Phillips has suffered from a congenital kidney condition that produces stones so large that he cannot pass them.[65] Soon after American Idol finished, he had the kidney stones removed as well as reconstructive surgery done on his kidney.[66]

On December 26, 2014, Phillips announced his engagement to girlfriend Hannah Blackwell.[67] The two were married on October 24, 2015.[68]

In addition to his singing career he has often lent his talents to organisations such as the Sarah foundation and the Gibson flood relief campaign.[69]



Co-Headling Tours

Opening Act

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice Love Song "Home" Nominated
Choice Music: Breakout Artist Himself
2013 World Music Awards World's Best Song "Home"
World's Best Male Artist Himself
Billboard Music Awards Top Rock Song "Home"
Top Rock Album The World from the Side of the Moon
MuchMusic Video Awards[70] International Video of the Year - Artist "Home"
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Artist Himself
Choice Rock Song "Gone, Gone, Gone"
American Music Awards New Artist of the Year Himself


  1. Finn, Natalie (October 24, 2015). "'American Idol' Winner Phillip Phillips Is Married!". E!. Retrieved October 24, 2015. "25 never looked so good....". Hannah Blackwell Instagram account. September 20, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015. Note: An inaccurate birthdate (Sept. 29, 1990) and birthplace (Leesburg, Georgia) appear in Collar, Matt. "Phillip Phillips Biography". Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  2. "Phillip Phillips Talks Christmas In Georgia & Going "Home" For The Holidays". Retrieved Dec 8, 2012.
  3. "Phillips given key to Leesburg". Albany Herald. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  4. McNiece, Mia; Nudd, Tim (May 24, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Had Eight Operations During American Idol Run, His Father Says". Time, Inc. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  5. "WhitePages - Find People". WhitePages, Inc. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  6. "District Attorney moves forward with Phillips' case". Fox 31. May 15, 2013.
  7. "Phillip Phillips: 25 Things You Don't Know About Me". Us Weekly. May 24, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  8. "Phillip Phillips Sings @LCHS 2009 Graduation". Bluestar.
  9. "Lee County High School - News and Events". Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  10. 1 2 "Phillip Phillips phenomenon grows". March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  11. "American Idol star Phillip Phillips to miss graduation". January 22, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  12. Strain, Kathy (February 14, 2013). "'American Idol' Winner Phillip Phillips Chats About his IDOL Experiences and More". Broadway World.
  13. 1 2 3 "Bibliography". Interscope Records. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  14. 1 2 "Phillip Phillips has hit the local the music scene like a rocket!". Albany uncoverd. September 13, 2011.
  15. "Albany Panther Announce Tailgate". The Albany Journal. April 29, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
  16. Knight, Ashley (May 21, 2011). "Albany Star holds round one of competition Saturday". Fox31online.
  17. Medina, Portia (May 23, 2012). "Phillip Phillips 'American Idol'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  18. Angermiller, Michele Amabile; Benami, Didi (May 22, 2012). "'American Idol' Champ Phillip Phillips on 'Home': 'I Told Them It's Not My Single' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  19. O'Sullivan, Erin (May 23, 2012). "Idol Finalists Jessica Sanchez & Phillip Phillips Dish On Their America's Got Talent Past". Access Hollywood.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Graham, Adam (January 18, 2012). "'American Idol': David Leathers Jr., Phillip Phillips Wow". MTV. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  21. 1 2 Reiher, Andrea (January 18, 2012). "'American Idol': Phillip Phillips' 'Thriller,' 'Superstition' win the night". Zap2It. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  22. "Watch Phillip Phillips Perform "Nice and Slow" in American Idol 2012 Final Judgment Part 1 on February 22". February 22, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  23. "'American Idol' reveals 14 of eleventh season's Top 24 semifinalists". February 23, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  24. "American Idol – Access Hollywood". Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  25. "Phillip Phillips Dave Matthews Mannerisms on American Idol". Dave Matthews blog.
  26. Miller, Meg (May 2, 2012). "Dave Matthews: Idol's Phillip Phillips Should". Vulture.
  27. "'American Idol' Contestant Phil Phillips Says He's Fine After Seeing Doctor". March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  28. "'American Idol' winner Phil Phillips to undergo surgery, talks about health issues". May 25, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  29. Mansfield, Brian (May 24, 2012). "Surgery won't affect Idols tour, Phillips says". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  30. Parker, Lyndsey (June 29, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Comes Out Of Hiding, Rocks Out For Yahoo! Music". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
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  32. "Phillip Phillips Wins 'American Idol'". Rolling Stone. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  33. Caulfield, Keith (May 30, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Makes 'Idol' History as 'Home' Sells 278,000 Downloads". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  34. 1 2 Gallo, Phil (January 7, 2013). "'Phillip Phillips' The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  35. Parker, Lyndsey (October 24, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Sings The National Anthem, His Way, At The World Series". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  36. Angermiller, Michele Amabile (November 17, 2012). "'Idol' Winner Phillip Phillips and PS 22 Cover Oasis and Michael Jackson for Hurricane Sandy Relief (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  37. Stebner, Beth (December 7, 2012). "Santa Claus is coming to Capitol Hill! Obamas turn on National Christmas Tree lights (and even the President was singing carols)". The Daily Mail. UK.
  38. Grein, Paul (February 20, 2013). "Week Ending Feb. 17, 2013. Songs: "Harlem Shake" Debuts At #1". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
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  40. Bell, Amanda (July 5, 2012). "He's Back! Phillip Phillips Rocks Out to "Home" for Fourth of July Celebration". Wetpaint.
  41. "WATCH: Phillip Phillips Performs His Single "Home" at All-Star Game". Gossipcop. July 10, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  42. Angermiller, Michele Amabile (October 10, 2012). "'American Idol' Winner Phillip Phillips Performs for The Dalai Lama (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  43. "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute". CNN. November 28, 2012.
  44. Harp, Justin (December 17, 2012). "Rascal Flatts, Phillip Phillips for CBS Home for the Holidays telethon". Digital Spy.
  45. 1 2 Kennedy, Gerrick D. (October 15, 2012). "Phillip Phillips to release debut album in November". Los Angeles Times.
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  48. Caulfield, Keith (November 28, 2012). "Album, Phillip Phillips & Kid Rock Debut In Top Five". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
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  51. "'American Idol' Winner Phillip Phillips Joins Matchbox 20 Tour". The Hollywood Reporter. December 11, 2012.
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  53. Schneider, Marc (March 21, 2013). "John Mayer Announces First Tour in 3 Years". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  54. Sheehan, Katie (October 14, 2013). "Phillip Phillips to Re-Release "The World From the Side of the Moon"". ArtsDirect.
  56. Fletcher, Carlton (February 7, 2014). "American Idol winner Phillip Phillips to perform at Wild Adventures". Albany Herald.
  57. Rutherford, Kevin (October 31, 2013). "Phillip Phillips, 'Where We Came From (Live)': Exclusive Video Premiere". Billboard.
  58. Pajer, Nicole (March 23, 2013). "Phillip Phillips 'Always Writing' for Next Album". Billboard.
  59. Mansfield, Brian (March 28, 2014). "Phillip Phillips releasing sophomore album in May". USA Today.
  60. "New Music: Phillip Phillips - 'Fly' (Review)". Direct Lyrics.
  61. Mansfield, Brian (June 12, 2014). "Phillip Phillips talks tour, new album success". USA Today.
  62. Grow, Kory (January 27, 2015). "Phillip Phillips Seeks Break From 'Oppressive' 'American Idol' Producer". Rolling Stone.
  63. Eriq, Gardner (June 2, 2016). "'American Idol' Producer Files $6 Million Lawsuit Against Season 11 Winner Phillip Phillips". Hollywood Reporter.
  64. "Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson Announce Co-Headlining Tour". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  65. Kaufman, Gil (June 7, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Has Kidney Surgery". MTV.
  66. Laudadio, Marisa (July 1, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Reveals Details of Year-Long Kidney Crisis". People. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  67. Angermiller, Michele Amabile (December 26, 2014). "'American Idol' Winner Phillip Phillips Gets Engaged". The Hollywood Reporter.
  68. Chiu, Melody (October 24, 2015). "Phillip Phillips Weds Longtime Girlfriend Hannah Blackwell". People.
  69. Cameron, Andrew. "Mr". Retrieved 2016-01-09.
  70. "Marianas Trench lead the 2013 MMVAs with six nominations". May 21, 2013.
Preceded by
Scotty McCreery
American Idol winner
Succeeded by
Candice Glover
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