Chris Daughtry proved you don’t have to win American Idol to be a winner

November 29, 2018 - 5:29 pm

Before Chris Daughtry's concert in New Orleans Thursday night, Scoot chatted with him on his almost-instant fame, what it meant, and how it changed his life.

You proved that you can be a winner despite not winning American Idol. I think you are the third most successful person to come from American Idol, behind only Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

“That's what they tell me. I try not to get caught up in the labels and stats. It's pretty flattering. It certainly worked out for me.”

You're a guy living an average life, and you have this opportunity, though you don't win. How did it feel when somebody got in touch with you after you got their attention?

The fact that anyone knew my name, it was all very new to me. Before that, I'd pull up at a drive-through; and they be all like, 'You look like Vin Diesel.' Then it turned into, 'Hey, you look like Chris Daughtry.' I thought that was a nice shift in notoriety. It was really cool, and I didn't expect that at all. It was a surprise.

In addition to being recognized, what was the other biggest change in your life after reaching this celebrity status?

I think the fact that I wasn't working a day job was huge. That was certainly a big change for me. I'd been working since I was 14, just reaming of being on a stage and getting to do what I love as a form of a job. And now I get to do that, and I still have to remind myself of that on a daily basis when I get exhausted or tired or more voice hurts. I'm one of the lucky ones.

You were a singer in local bands. You get this chance on American Idol, and you end up working with people like Slash, Vince Gill, Carlos Santana...that must have been surreal.

It was...I was quite surprised that Slash agreed to do it. I was in the studio, and I remember him walking up with his guitar and he was getting out of his car with his baseball cap. He's just a normal dude; and I was like, 'Hey, can I carry your guitar for you?' [I was] just this fish out of water. I look back at those moments like they never even happened. They feel like a dream almost.

When your life changes, sometimes it really does change. How did the almost-instant success affect your marriage?

We're still together. Just like with any marriage, anybody who's been married 18 years you're going to go through the ups and downs of life; and we've had our fair share of issues just like any married couple. The difference is that you make that commitment to be on this journey together. And you forgive; you love; and you support each other through the journey you're on individually and together. I think we've done pretty awesome with that.


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