American Idol Winner Phillip Phillips to take Keith Albee Stage on November 3

by Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series

HUNTINGTON, WV- The Marshall University Campus Activities Board and Student Activities present Phillip Phillips, who is coming to the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center on Monday, November 3, 2014 @ 7:30 pm.  Phillips is fresh off a 25-city tour and is ready to showcase his raspy vocals and masterful guitar skills to the Huntington audience, along with supporting act Saints of Valory.

Phillips first began creating music when he was 14 years old in his native town of Leesburg, Georgia.  It was here that he discover his aptitude for the guitar.  Teaching himself to play, Phillips soon formed an acoustic band with his sister and brother-in-law and started to develop his vocals.  Phillips even won first place in the local singing competition Albany Star in 2010.  On the development of his vocal skills, Phillips stated: “I used to always keep my singing to myself and never let anyone hear me, but then my sister and brother-in-law caught me one night and told me I had to start singing in the band.”

Encouragement from family and friends soon helped Phillips break out of his shell. In fact, Phillips took a break from working in his family’s pawn shop and auditioned for American Idol in summer 2011. However, Phillips wasn’t always keen on the idea of auditioning for the hit TV show.  According to an interview from theeagle.com, Phillips said about the experience: “I never watched the show, it wasn't my type of thing. It was very pop, very bubblegum. … I didn't want to try out for it. My friends and family were like, 'Just do it, the worst they can do is say no.' I was like, 'Well, that's true.'"

Eventually performing both Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – on which he accompanied himself on guitar, Phillips was a shoo-in for the competition.  Phillips soon found himself singing through dynamic and powerful performances of singles by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett.  Phillips’ time on American Idol didn’t come without its challenges, however. Suffering from a congenital kidney condition that produces large stones that cannot pass through his kidneys, Phillips underwent eight surgeries to remove the stones during his time on the show.  Nevertheless, Phillips continued to compete on American Idol and ultimately beat out vocalist Jessica Sanchez. 

Today Phillips is a soulful vocalist with a throaty style and a bent toward mixing acoustic singer/songwriter material with jam-oriented rock. After winning American Idol, Phillips released “Home,” a 5x platinum hit which featured his guitar skills and raspy vocals.  In fact, this single surpassed Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” as the best-selling release by an American Idol alumnus ever and would eventually make appearances in movie trailers, commercials, and the 2012 Olympics.  Part of his platinum plus-selling debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, “Home” became a monster success.  Phillips’ album debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and also featured the hit “Gone, Gone, Gone.”

Just releasing his second album, Behind the Light, Phillips seems to be aiming for an ambitious and refined sound.  This Georgia native utilized his earthy authenticity that has long shaped his sound to connect with his audience.  Lead single “Raging Fire,” is a powerful and compelling love song that debuted in the Billboard Hot 100 and quickly received praise for Phillips gripping delivery and breathtaking guitar work.

Recently, Phillips has toured the country with the American Idol Live tour and has been on tours with O.A.R., Matchbox Twenty, and John Mayer. Soon after Phillips released hit singles “Behind the Light” and “Unpack your Heart” and was primed for stardom of his own. Now fresh off his headlining tour, Phillips is ready to bring that soulful brand of rock and roll to arenas and venues around the country.

Taking this journey with Phillips will be Saints of Valory, a diverse group represented by three different continents – South America, Asia, and the U.S.  In November 2010, they self-released their first EP The Bright Lights, featuring an early version of “Providence.”  In March 2012 they were chosen as one of Billboard’s top six unsigned bands.  Today Saints of Valory craft dynamic, sweeping, arena-ready rock filled with elegant pop hooks.  Singles like the rhythmic “Kids,” “Long Time Coming,” and “Neon Eyes” are broad in scope and announce the group’s confidence as they move forward with their career.

Tickets for Phillip Phillips are $86.46/67.20.  To secure your ticket to Phillip Phillips, be sure to contact the Marshall Artists Series Box Office at 304-696-6656.  Or order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com  You may also visit our box office located in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the Marshall University campus.  Box office hours are Monday through Friday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

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