Chris Medina

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Chris Medina
Chris Medina at Liseberg.jpg
Chris Medina performing in Sweden, 2011
Background information
Birth name Christopher Edward Medina
Born (1983-11-30) November 30, 1983 (age 33)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Rock, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist
Instruments Guitar, piano, drums, bass
Years active 2011–present

Christopher Edward "Chris" Medina (born November 30, 1983[1]) is an American singer born in Chicago, Illinois. In late 2010 he auditioned for American Idol making it to the top 40 before being eliminated. He is most famous for his hit "What Are Words" a big hit for him in Sweden and Norway where it reached number 1. It also charted in Denmark and made it to number 83 on Billboard Hot 100.


Medina grew up in Chicago then relocated to a nearby suburb Oak Forest, Illinois, and graduated from Columbia College Chicago.[2]

American Idol[edit]

In late 2010 he auditioned for the reality show and talent contest "American Idol" and received a "golden ticket to Hollywood", making it to the top 40 out of 327 contestants on Season 10 in 2011. The night he was eliminated on February 24, 2011, Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges, could not control how terrible she felt that she was the one who had to tell him he would not advance further and cried afterwards.

The song "What Are Words"[edit]

Chris Medina in Norrköping, Sweden (2011)

On the day after his elimination, February 25, 2011, "What Are Words," recorded for Simon Cowell's record label 19 Recordings, was released worldwide. Medina stated publicly the song is about his fiancée, Juliana Ramos, who suffered a brain injury as the result of a serious car accident on October 2, 2009, two months before they were to be married, and the storyline was heavily used during his American Idol tryout, even being brought on the show to emphasize the powerful nature of the song. (Medina has since admitted publicly that Ramos had been drinking, driving erratically as well as texting, and as a result the accident was her fault.[3]) As of mid 2014, Ramos and Medina are no longer a couple, but they will "forever be soul-mates".[4][5] The song was written by Rodney Jerkins, Andre Lindal and Lauren Christy, and given to Medina to record.

The song debuted at #22 on the Heatseekers Songs chart,[6] and then reached #83 on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] As of 2012 it has since sold 105,000 copies.[8] The single went to #1 in Norway and Sweden and spent 19 weeks at number 1 combined. 11 in Norway and 8 in Sweden. He has performed the ballad on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and on Live With Regis and Kelly.

In the summer of 2011, Medina was invited to perform in countries all over the world, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Singapore. In Singapore he performed for the "President's Star Charity", which is done to raise money for the physically and mentally challenged. He was able to help raise millions for this charity. Medina sang the song at the funeral of 18-year-old Monica Iselin Didriksen, one of the victims of the Norwegian terror attacks. Didriksen loved that song, and her parents asked him to come and sing at her funeral.[9]

An album was quickly recorded and released on November 28, 2011, also titled "What Are Words", to capitalize on the popularity of the song. The album failed to chart.

To date Medina has not released another single off the album except in Sweden and Norway, where the song "One More Time" charted at Number 16. "Amazed" was released as a third single off the album in Norway only in May 2012.

A website,, which used to post updates in 2011, has gone dormant.

Motion Picture Offer[edit]

On March 12, 2013, two years after being cut from American Idol, Medina signed a major motion picture contract with MCS41 (Metropolitan Creative Studio), operated by producer Jim Schramm. The film, that was scheduled for release in fall 2014, was to be based on the story of Medina and Ramos.[10] To date the film has yet to surface.



Title Album details Peak chart positions
What Are Words 7 5

Extended play[edit]

Title Details
Letters to Juliet
  • Release date: March 5, 2013
  • Label: Executive Records
  • Formats: Digital download


Title Year Peak chart positions Album Certifications
"What Are Words" 2011 19 1 1 83 What Are Words
  • NOR: 4x Platinum
  • SWE: 2x Platinum
"One More Time" 16
"Amazed" 2012
"My Hopeless" 2013
"Something Kind of Beautiful" 2015
Featured in
  • 2014: "Here Comes the Flood" (Getty Domein feat Chris Medina)


  1. ^ "Se kjærestens hjerteskjærende bursdagshilsen til Chris Medina - God Morgen Norge". Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  2. ^ Chris Medina's Official Youtube Channel Archived October 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "'American Idol': Chris Medina Gives Update On Injured Fiancé, Juliana". 
  4. ^ "Juliana and Chris are Married" has been rewritten". 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Its not what you think". 2014-06-26. Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  6. ^ "Weekly Chart Notes: Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Chris Medina – Chart Beat". Billboard. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Idol Reject Releases Single, Vote On Facebook". February 25, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Jennifer Lopez, Chris Medina see big download gains – Idol Chatter". USA Today. January 3, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ Askvik, Kristine (10 August 2011). "Her synger Chris Medina I Monica Iselins begravelse" (in Norwegian). NRK Hordaland. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Wasinski, Natasha (March 15, 2013). "Love story for 'Idol's' Chris Medina, Juliana Ramos to make its way to the big screen". Sun-Times Media, LLC. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Norwegian Charts > Chris Medina". Archived from the original on 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  12. ^ a b "Swedish Charts > Chris Medina". 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  13. ^ "Danish Charts > Chris Medina". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 

External links[edit]