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|Birth name||Benjamin Lummis|
|Born||1 June 1978|
|Origin||Wellington, New Zealand|
Sony BMG (2004)Soul'd Out (2007 – present)
|Associated acts||Rosita Vai, Matthew Saunoa|
Ben Lummis (born Benjamin Lummis on 1 June 1978) is a New Zealand R&B/Pop recording artist who rose to musical fame as the winner of the First season of New Zealand Idol in 2004. He is of Māori (Ngati Porou) and Pākehā (European) and Tongan descent. He is very close to his family, and has five siblings.
New Zealand Idol 2004
Lummis auditioned for the first season of New Zealand Idol in early 2004, and after passing through the theatre rounds, he qualified for the semi-finals, where the public voted him through to the Top 10. Lummis's first few weeks in the Top 10 were shaky, as he landed in the bottom 3 contestants on three separate occasions. However, from the top 6 onwards, he was never in the bottom three again, and on 10 May 2004, he was crowned as the first New Zealand Idol, defeating Michael Murphy, who had never been in the bottom three throughout the entire competition. Ben is one of only two Idol winners world wide to land in the Bottom 3 in the first week of their season's finals. The other is 2005 Canadian Idol Melissa O'Neil.
New Zealand Idol Performances
- Top 36 - "Suspicious Minds", Elvis Presley
- Top 24 - "Back at One", Brian McKnight
- Top 10 - "Never Too Much", Luther Vandross - Bottom 3
- Top 9 - "Oughta Be In Love", Dave Dobbyn - Bottom 3
- Top 8 - "Hang on in There Baby", Johnny Bristol
- Top 7 - "Can Love You Like That", All-4-One - Bottom 3
- Top 6 - "Kiss From A Rose", Seal
- Top 5 - "Treat Her Like a Lady", The Temptations
- Top 4 - "American Woman", The Guess Who
- Top 4 - "Livin' on a Prayer", Bon Jovi
- Top 3 - "The Power of Love", Huey Lewis
- Top 3 - "Rhythm of the Night", El De Barge
- Top 2 - "Kiss From a Rose", Seal
- Top 2 - "I Believe I Can Fly", R. Kelly
- Top 2 - "Livin' on a Prayer", Bon Jovi
- Grand Final - "They Can't Take That Away" (Winner's single) - Declared 1st New Zealand Idol
Post Idol Career
2004-2005: One Road
Immediately after his victory, Lummis signed a recording contract with music giant Sony BMG and released his debut single "They Can't Take That Away", which debuted at number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart. It held the position for seven weeks and was certified 4xPlatinum, selling 40,000 copies. Lummis completed a nationwide New Zealand Idol Live! tour with his fellow finalists, and then on 15 June 2004, just four weeks after his Idol victory, Lummis released his debut album, One Road. Although the album sold 45,000 copies and was certified 3xPlatinum, it was badly received by the music industry. Paul Ellis, the album's producer and New Zealand Idol judge later described it as "the worst-sounding album of my entire career".
Three months after the release of his album, Lummis suddenly left his record label Sony BMG under mutual disagreement. Many music industry observers stated that the move was interesting, as Lummis had held the top spot on the albums and singles chart simultaneously for more than a week with strong sales, but was dropped by his label nevertheless.
2006-2007: Independent Music and Pop's Ultimate Star
Having taken a career break following his debut album and departure from Sony BMG, Lummis released the single "Gotta Move" in 2006, independently and exclusively through his personal website. Although well received by fans, the single was unable to chart as its sales were online only and at the time, not tracked by the RIANZ.
After another short break, Lummis was announced as one of the ten contestants on Pop's Ultimate Star, a new New Zealand reality television show whose aim was to take contestants from past singing competitions and pit them against one another in order to discover the country's favourite reality show singing star. The show debuted on 29 May 2007, and after passing through the first four weeks without falling into the bottom two at all, Lummis made it to the final six. At this point he fell into the bottom two alongside Emily Williams, the runner-up from the third season of Australian Idol, and was voted off on 1 July after an elimination duel with Williams, finishing in sixth place. After this, he announced his intention to release more new music independently.
2007 – present: New Album
Lummis announced in late 2007, that he had intentions on writing more of his own music, and releasing songs independently on a new album. Since then Lummis has been working on a new album, right throughout 2008. He has also appeared on the TVNZ morning show, Good Morning, where he made a live performance of one of his new tracks called, "Smooth Lady", the first song from the album.
Lummis is a devout Pentecostal Christian and belongs to and attends the Breakthrough Church In Auckland, New Zealand. He credits his success to God, with the understanding that, however far it takes him, he will always be able to remember his time in the spotlight.
|↙Other charted songs||1|
|Year||Information||New Zealand||Sales and Certifications|
||New Zealand sales: 45,000
|2004||"They Can't Take That Away"||1||4xPlatinum||One Road|
|2006||"Gotta Move" 1||—||—||Single Only|
- ^1 "Gotta Move" was released only through Ben's official website and was therefore not eligible to chart
|Home Grown (With the Top 10 of NZ Idol)
|NZ Idol winner
Season 1 (2004)
- New Zealand Reality TV: Ben Lummis Scores a Record Deal
- "Entertainment picks: The business of being a NZ Idol". The New Zealand Herald. 17 October 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Trevett, Claire. Record giant scratches NZ Idol. 1 June 2006. Accessed: 3 July 2007
- Trevett, Claire Idol split hits sour note with fans. 25 May 2005. Accessed: 3 July 2007
- TVNZ. Bye Ben!. Accessed 3 July 2007.