Chris Sligh

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Chris Sligh
Chris Sligh and wife.jpg
Sligh and his wife
Background information
Birth name Charles Christopher Sligh
Born (1978-07-20) July 20, 1978 (age 36)[1]
Madison, Tennessee
Origin Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Genres Christian rock, alternative rock
Occupations Singer
Years active 2007–present
Associated acts Half Past Forever
Website www.chrissligh.com

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Charles Christopher "Chris" Sligh (born July 20, 1978) is an American singer; songwriter and producer who was a finalist on the sixth season of American Idol, finishing in tenth place. He also starred in October Baby.[2]

Early years[edit]

Sligh was born in Madison, Tennessee to Chuck [3] and Susan Sligh, Baptist Missionaries to American military servicemen. The family moved to Durham, North Carolina when Sligh was three years old but soon moved to Wiesbaden, Germany; where Chuck ministered to American troops. Chuck Sligh is an accomplished guitarist and passed his love of music to his three sons, of whom Sligh is the eldest.[4][5] Although Sligh has been singing since high school he grew up listening only to classical music in a regimented upbringing.[6]

Sligh began his college study in pre-law at Pensacola Christian College in Florida, Sligh transferred in his sophomore year to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina intending to major in music. Despite having no previous formal instruction, Sligh progressed rapidly in the school’s vocal performance program, and was invited to audition both for The Juilliard School and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Sligh was expelled from Bob Jones after he broke school rules by attending a 4Him concert. He then attended North Greenville University but left shy a few credits of earning a music degree.

Half Past Forever[edit]

Sligh (right) performing with Half Past Forever in 2007

Over the next few years he put several bands together,leading eventually to the creation of the band Half Past Forever. Sligh was the frontman and guitarist for his band which was formed with a member of a defunct, local South Carolina band.

In 2006, they created the album, Take a Chance on Something Beautiful, which was produced over a few months in Sligh's home studio. After Sligh was voted off American Idol in March 2007, the band signed with record label Brash Music. Sligh produced, and wrote or co-wrote all of the album's seventeen songs. Jesusfreakhideout.com music critic Scott Fryberger reviewed the CD on July 7 saying, "Although a good mixture of adult contemporary and rock, Half Past Forever still isn't quite a must-buy album. It remains, however, a very good debut for the band. I wouldn't be surprised to hear them on mainstream radio stations in the near future.[7]

On the other hand, critic Christa Bannister at Christianity Today.com reviewed the album, giving the album a solid 4/5 stars, saying "While the project is a little long by today's standards, there's actually not a throwaway in the bunch...The biggest surprise lies in the varied production, which is especially impressive for an indie band. They go all out with strings on the aforementioned "In a Moment," while faster songs like "Naïve" and "Closer" are reminiscent of The Strokes' latest project, with a more raw, stripped-down indie feel that offers nice contrast to overproduced pop." [8]

American Idol[edit]

Sligh auditioned in Birmingham, Alabama singing "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal, after which Paula Abdul gave him a standing ovation and said, "I like you very much." American Idol judges laughed at his ambition "to make David Hasselhoff cry," a reference to Hasselhoff's crying when Taylor Hicks won season 5.

Sligh was an early favorite of the judges, as all 3 judges spoke of a guy with curly hair who did not look like your typical American Idol. Paula compared him to Penn Jillette from the duo of Penn & Teller, to whom he bears some resemblance. However, by the third week of the semi-finals, after Sligh sang "We All Wanna Be Loved" by DcTalk, the judges criticized him more sharply.

During the top 24 week, Sligh showed his extensive knowledge of American Idol trivia, which he claimed to have learned while researching for hours at his job in South Carolina. Simon claimed that Sligh's performance of "Typical" by the band Mutemath was "...like being at some weird student gig" and told Sligh that he felt like Sligh was there more on personality than vocal skill. Sligh retorted by saying, "Just because I don't sound like Il Divo or the Teletubbies doesn't mean that I don't have a good voice" alluding to Simon's creation of the classical boy band Il Divo and his work in making an album featuring the Teletubbies. Randy and Paula cheered at the supposed insult. Many fans were left bewildered by Simon's dour reaction, which Sligh and Seacrest later cleared up in saying the dour expression was aimed at Seacrest.

Sligh was eliminated from American Idol on March 28, 2007 and is therefore the tenth-place singer in Season Six. While singing his last song, he told Phil Stacey "You owe me 50 bucks," referencing their bet that he would be eliminated that show. The next day, Sligh said that he had not sought to win the competition and that he had considered quitting the show two weeks before, but stayed on the show in order to make it into the top ten so that he could go on tour with the other top ten finalists.[9] Later he commented that his wanting to quit was similar to anyone working a job and feeling like they could not do it anymore. He also cleared the rumor that he never wanted to win, saying, "I never set my sights on winning because it would've driven me crazy...I just focused on small goals, the first of which was to make the top 10 so I could go on tour."

Performances[edit]

Auditions/Hollywood

Week # Theme Song Choice Original Artist Order # Result
Top 24 (12 Men) N/A "Typical" Mutemath 9 Safe
Top 20 (10 Men) N/A "Trouble" Ray LaMontagne 5 Safe
Top 16 (8 Men) N/A "Wanna Be Loved" dc Talk 8 Safe
Top 12 Diana Ross "Endless Love" Diana Ross and Lionel Richie 3 Safe
Top 11 British Invasion "She's Not There" The Zombies 10 Safe
Top 10 No Doubt/Artists who inspire Gwen Stefani "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" The Police 2 Eliminated

Career[edit]

2007-2008: Running Back to You[edit]

In November 2007, Sligh stated that he had signed a solo deal with Brash Music, an Atlanta-based independent label that is distributed through Warner Bros, ADA distribution, and Word Distribution.

The resulting album, titled Running Back to You was produced by Brown Bannister, Stephen Leiweke and Will Owsley. Sligh's album was released on May 6, 2008 by Brash Music. The first official single, "Empty Me," was added to radio playlists February 22, 2008 and reached number six on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs Charts. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at 190 with 4,000 copies sold the first week, the top Christian debut for the week.[10] It has sold 54,000 copies in the U.S. as of October 2009.[11]

The album has mostly positive reviews. USA Today called Sligh "the most musically ambitious Idol to date" and popular Christian website Jesus Freak Hideout gave the album 4.5 stars (out of 5) and called it "...one of the year's best albums". Other websites, such as The Bridge Live, CMCentral, Soul-Audio.com and many others, gave the album glowing reviews, praising Sligh's songwriting, the album's production and Sligh soaring vocals that set him apart from the rest of the pack. The album peaked on Billboard magazine's Top Heatseekers chart.[12]

Through 2008, Sligh toured relentlessly, with over 115 shows and over 150 other various appearances (radio, TV, web interviews). In August and September 2008, he headlined the Back to School Tour. The tour hit 32 cities, most of which were partnered directly with Christian radio stations. In December 2008, Sligh toured with NewSong, on the NewSong Christmas celebration tour. The tour hit 18 cities from December 1–22, 2008.

2009[edit]

In March and April 2009, Sligh toured with [1] Natalie Grant and Meredith Andrews on the Make It Matter Tour.[13]

In April 2009, Sligh co-wrote a song called "Here Comes Goodbye" with Clint Lagerberg (also the cowriter of Sligh's first single "Empty Me"). This song was released by the country rock band Rascal Flatts. The song went number one after 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Charts.[14]

In May 2009, Sligh announced that he had parted ways with his label Brash Music and was "negotiating with a major label" for his next deal. His second album "Anatomy Of The Broken" will release in September, 2010 on Word Records.[15]

From September to November 2009, Sligh completed his 2nd Annual Back to School tour, a co-headlining effort with Aaron Shust.[16]

In November 2009 Sligh's first Christmas album became available on iTunes. In November he also announced details of his upcoming album, titled "The Anatomy of Broken," which was released in September 14, 2010.[17] The album has since peaked at number 44 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums Chart.

2011 - 2012[edit]

Sligh made his acting debut in the movie October Baby as B-Mac. He performed "Broken (Beautiful)," "One" and "Willow Tree." for the soundtrack.[18]

In July 2012, he released a free worship album called, For Our God and King.[19]

2013 - 2014[edit]

Sligh was hired as the worship pastor at Shoreline Church in Austin, Texas.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Sales
2001 "Berg: Vessel" as Berg (Chris Sligh)
2002 "Someone Just Like You"
2005 "Half Past Forever" (with Half Past Forever)
2005 "Besides..." (with Half Past Forever)
2007 Take a Chance on Something Beautiful (with Half Past Forever) 1,700[20]
2008 Running Back to You 54,000[11]
2009 Christmas EP
2010 The Anatomy of Broken 10,000[21]
2012 For Our God and King
2013 This Is Life (Three album set)

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak sales Album
US
Christ
2007 "Hero" Take a Chance On Something Beautiful
2008 "Empty Me" 6 52,000[22] Running Back to You
"Arise" 30
2010 "Only You Can Save" 13 10,000[23] The Anatomy of Broken
"—" denotes the single failed to chart or not released

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chris Sligh's personal BlogSpot entry commenting on his birthday.
  2. ^ "October Baby - Cast & Crew". Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Chuck Sligh bio on church website
  4. ^ Stars and Stripes news article; 1999 missionary prayer letter
  5. ^ From My Mind To Your Eyes: My Musical Journey
  6. ^ Greenville News, March 21, 2007.
  7. ^ Jesusfreakhideout.com: Half Past Forever, "Take A Chance On Something Beautiful" Review
  8. ^ Half Past Forever - Take a Chance on Something Beautiful - Christian Music Today
  9. ^ "Ousted 'American Idol' contestant Sligh says he considered quitting before being voted off", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), March 30, 2007.
  10. ^ "Clay's No. 4, Chris S. No. 190 in chart debuts". USA Today. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on May 18, 20008. 
  11. ^ a b Idol Chatter 10-14-2009
  12. ^ "Top Heatseekers". Billboard (magazine). 2008+06-28. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  13. ^ Natalie Grant. Make it Matter Tour. April 29, 2009. http://nataliegrant.com/2009/04/29/make-it-matter-tour/
  14. ^ Country Standard Time. "Rascal Flatt's Here Comes Goodbye Skyrockets to the Top." April 13, 2009. http://www.countrystandardtime.com/news/newsitem.asp?xid=2783
  15. ^ Conner, Matt. "Chris Sligh | The Anatomy of Broken". TodaysChristianMusic.com. CCMMagazine. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Chris Sligh. News. http://www.chrissligh.com/News/tabid/458/Default.aspx
  17. ^ Chris Sligh. News. November 21, 2009. http://www.chrissligh.com/News/tabid/458/Default.aspx
  18. ^ "October Baby - The Music of October Baby". Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  19. ^ "For Our God & King". Official website. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  20. ^ Idol Chatter 01-10-2008
  21. ^ Idol Chatter 02-23-2011
  22. ^ Idol Chatter 12-03-2008
  23. ^ Idol Chatter 12-22-2010

External links[edit]