Michael Johns (singer)

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Michael Johns
Michael Johns at the American Idol, Season 7, Top 12 party on 6 March 2008.
Background information
Birth name Michael John Lee
Born (1978-10-20) 20 October 1978 (age 35)
Perth, Australia
Genres Pop, pop rock, soul, soft rock, rock
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Years active 2000–present
Labels Beverly Martel Music
Maverick Records
TRP records
Downtown Records (2009–present)
Associated acts Brooke White, The Rising

Michael Johns (born 20 October 1978 as Michael John Lee[1]) is an Australian singer-songwriter who finished in eighth place on the seventh season of a United States television series, American Idol, in 2008.


Early life[edit]

Johns was born Michael John Lee in Perth, Western Australia. As a teenager, Michael John Lee appeared as The Coachman in Pinocchio at the Regal Theatre and was a choir singer in Anything Goes at His Majesty’s Theatre.[2]

Johns attended Newman College in Perth.[3] In 1997, when he was eighteen, he moved to the United States on a tennis scholarship and majored in drama at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton before dropping out after two quarters.[1][4] He also briefly played Australian rules football for the USAFL club Atlanta Kookaburras in 2001-2002.[5][6]

Early music career[edit]

Johns moved from Tifton to Atlanta to pursue a music career, playing cover gigs.[1] He then joined a band called Film. He was replaced as the band's singer by Michael Meyer and the band folded after 18 months.[7][8] After traveling to Los Angeles to showcase for a number of labels, he was signed to Maverick Records in 2002 as a solo artist under his birth name Michael Lee.[7][9][10] He recorded an album, and then formed a rock band around him, called The Rising.[7] The album was "Future Unknown", and a few of the tracks received some minimal airplay on radio.[11] The album was released on iTunes after he was on American Idol. After Maverick, he was signed to Columbia, but was later dropped.[7] He started using the name Michael Johns in 2006 as homage to his stepfather whose name, like his middle name, is John, hence "Johns" because there are two of them in the family.[12]

American Idol[edit]


He auditioned for American Idol Season 7 at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium in July 2007. He finished eighth place in the Season 7 competition.[13][14]


Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Top 24 (12 Men) 1960s "Light My Fire" The Doors 12 Safe
Top 20 (10 Men) 1970s "Go Your Own Way" Fleetwood Mac 1 Safe
Top 16 (8 Men) 1980s "Don't You (Forget About Me)" Simple Minds 5 Safe
Top 12 Lennon–McCartney "Across the Universe" The Beatles 10 Safe
Top 11 The Beatles "A Day in the Life" The Beatles 4 Safe
Top 10 Year They Were Born "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions" Queen 6 Safe
Top 9 Dolly Parton "It's All Wrong But It's All Right" Dolly Parton 9 Safe
Top 8 Inspirational Music "Dream On" Aerosmith 1 Eliminated


Following the show, he performed on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008. Johns worked on the soundtrack for Shaun White's documentary DVD Don't Look Down, released by Three Rings Projects, while he was on the Idol tour.[15] The album released features Johns singing all but one track, along with Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth. Released on 1 January 2009 by Three Rings Project it consists of 17 songs, 10 of which are vocal.[16]

He released a song, "Another Christmas," in December 2008, which he penned in 2006 when circumstances kept him from returning to his native Australia for Christmas. Half the proceeds from the song were advertised as going to the Red Cross and MDA's ALS division.[17] In 2009, he released a digital download single called "Heart on my Sleeve" and an album titled Hold back my Heart, which sold 20,000 copies.[18]

He released an EP Love and Sex, including thee songs, in 2012.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Michael Johns is married to Stacey Vuduris, who he married in 2007.[20]



Release Date Artist Album Label No. of Tracks
2001 Film Rolling Projector Records 6 tracks
16 September 2003 The Rising Future Unknown Maverick 11 tracks
26 August 2003 Live at the Apple Store 5 tracks (EP)
2007 Michael Johns Michael Johns[21] - 12 tracks
2008 Another Christmas TRP records 1 track
2009 Don't Look Down – The Height of Competition[15] 17 tracks

Downtown Records[edit]

Year Album details Peak Certifications
(sales threshold)
US[22] US
2009 Hold Back My Heart 97 12
  • US sales: 20,000
2012 Love & Sex


Year Title Chart Positions Album
2009 "Life Is Okay" (feat. Brooke White) Don't Look Down – The Height of Competition
"Heart on My Sleeve" 97[22] Hold Back My Heart


  1. ^ a b c Ho, Rodney (15 February 2008). "Michael Johns interview (updated)". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Access Atlanta). 
  2. ^ "American Idol contestant Michael Johns dreamed of fame". www.news.com.au, PerthNow. 8 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Daile Pepper (3 October 2008). "Idol comes back to earth in Perth". WA Today. 
  4. ^ ""Idol" Johns Ditched College, Last Name". TMZ. 8 October 2008. 
  5. ^ Sean (18 February 2008). "Could a former USAFL player be the next American Idol?". World Footy News. 
  6. ^ "Mike goes his own way". Atlanta Kookaburras Australian Rules Football Club. 27 February 2008. 
  7. ^ a b c d Fred Bronson (15 May 2008). "The Billboard Q&A: Michael Johns From 'American Idol'". Billboard. 
  8. ^ "melodic.net: The Film". www.melodic.net. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  9. ^ "Music Morsels: Crossroads: Michael Lee Of The Rising". www.serge.org. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  10. ^ "Michael Johns". Allmusic.com. 
  11. ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". www.fmqb.com. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  12. ^ "Idol‘s Michael Johns Explains His Personal Name Change". People. 2008-02-25. 
  13. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24054892/
  14. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1585223/20080411/jordin_sparks.jhtml
  15. ^ a b Tania Hussain (21 January 2009). "Album Review: Don't Look Down –The Height of Competition". 
  16. ^ "Interview: Rye Randa Discusses Shaun White's Don't Look Down". Blogcritics. 6 January 2009. 
  17. ^ Michael Johns To Release Christmas Song In Aid of ALS & Red Cross
  18. ^ Idol Chatter 01-15-2010 "The best-selling Idol albums from 2009"
  19. ^ Tania Hussain (20 June 2012). "Love and Sex According to Michael Johns: "Follow your heart and try and be the best person you can"". Newsvine. 
  20. ^ "Michael Johns Appreciates Wife’s Humor". OK. 2 June 2009. 
  21. ^ Michael Johns on allmusic.com
  22. ^ a b c http://www.billboard.com/artist/310783/michael+johns/chart

External links[edit]