Crystal Bowersox

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Crystal Bowersox
Bowersox in 2010
Bowersox in 2010
Background information
Birth nameCrystal Lynn Bowersox
Born (1985-08-04) August 4, 1985 (age 36)
Elliston, Ohio, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active2010–present

Crystal Lynn Bowersox (born August 4, 1985) is an American singer, songwriter and actress who was the runner-up on the ninth season of American Idol. She was the first female finalist in three years.

Bowersox's debut album, Farmer's Daughter, was released on December 14, 2010 by Jive Records. Bowersox released her second album, All That for This, on March 26, 2013.

Early life[edit]

Bowersox and her twin brother, Karl, were born in Elliston, Ohio[1] to Kelly Lynn Bowersox (née Bowlander) and William Lester Bowersox.[2] Her parents divorced when she was two years old.[3] At age six, Bowersox was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.[4] She attended Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, Ohio and later attended the Toledo School for the Arts in Toledo, Ohio.[1] She was in choir and played flute in the school marching band. Bowersox performed her first professional gig at the age of 10. She appeared at local bars in Toledo, most popularly Papa's Tavern, and The Village Idiot in Maumee, Ohio.

At the age of seventeen, she moved to Chicago, where she played music as a busker at train stations, including the Washington and Lake Redline stops. She frequented open mics, such as the In One Ear show at the Heartland Cafe, and Uncommon Ground Clark and Grace, and Devon locations. She also played extensively in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. According to Bowersox, she lived in poverty at this time, and had to resort to begging for insulin at a pharmacy to manage her diabetes after her health insurance expired.[4]

In 2006, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs chose Bowersox to represent Chicago folk musicians in the Sister Cities program "Experience Chicago", held in Birmingham. In 2007, Bowersox traveled internationally on an independent small cafe tour, including Memphis, Oaxaca City, Ankara and Istanbul. She gave birth to a son, Anthony Levi Mason, in 2009;[3] according to Bowersox, his father left her six weeks into her pregnancy.[4]

American Idol[edit]

Bowersox auditioned for American Idol in Chicago, Illinois. She sang "Piece of My Heart." Guest judge Shania Twain commented that she had a "raw, natural talent."[5]

On March 2, 2010, Bowersox was hospitalized due to Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from type 1 diabetes, forcing a last minute switch in scheduling to give her extra time to recuperate. Bowersox confirmed the illness on the May 19, 2010 results show during an interview with host Ryan Seacrest.[6][7] The men competed that day instead of the women. She sang the next day and impressed all of the judges.[8]

The following week, her strong performance prompted Simon Cowell to state, "Right now, you are the one everyone has to beat."[9]

After Siobhan Magnus's elimination from the top 6 of American Idol, Bowersox became the last remaining female contestant in the competition.

Bowersox is the first female contestant to make it to the finale since Jordin Sparks won the title in 2007. She is also the first contestant in American Idol history to have one of their original songs played on the show, or at least during their hometown package.[10] Crystal's original song "Holy Toledo" was played on the May 19 Top 3 Results show as the background music for her homecoming package - when she returned to Toledo, Ohio and Elliston, Ohio the previous weekend - and segued into her live performance of the same song at "Bowerstock".

During her time on Idol, Bowersox dated Tony Kusian, but the couple broke up just hours before the Idol finale.[11]

On the final performance day, in Simon Cowell's final critique on American Idol, he called her performance of "Up to the Mountain" "outstanding" and "by far, the best performance and song of the night".

On May 26, 2010, Bowersox was named runner-up to winner Lee DeWyze. She announced that after her Idol career, she wants to bring more awareness to type 1 diabetes.[12]

Bowersox is the third Idol Runner-Up (preceded by Clay Aiken and David Archuleta) to never be in the Bottom 3 or Bottom 2.


Episode Theme Song choice Original recording artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "Piece of My Heart" Erma Franklin N/A Advanced
Hollywood Week First Solo "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Aretha Franklin N/A Advanced
Hollywood Week Group Round "Get Ready" The Temptations N/A Advanced
Hollywood Week Second Solo "If It Makes You Happy" Sheryl Crow N/A Advanced
Top 24 (12 Women) Billboard Hot 100 Hits "Hand in My Pocket" Alanis Morissette 11 Safe
Top 20 (10 Women) "Long as I Can See the Light" Creedence Clearwater Revival 1 Safe
Top 16 (8 Women) "Give Me One Reason" Tracy Chapman 7 Safe
Top 12 The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want" The Rolling Stones 12 Safe
Top 11 Billboard Number 1 Hits "Me and Bobby McGee" Roger Miller 5 Safe
Top 10 R&B/Soul "Midnight Train to Georgia" Cissy Houston 9 Safe
Top 9 Lennon–McCartney "Come Together" The Beatles 5 Safe
Top 91 Elvis Presley "Saved" LaVern Baker 1 Safe
Top 7 Inspirational "People Get Ready" The Impressions 7 Safe
Top 6 Shania Twain "No One Needs to Know" Shania Twain 4 Safe
Top 5 Frank Sinatra "Summer Wind" Wayne Newton 3 Safe
Top 4 Songs of the Cinema Duet "Falling Slowly" — Once with Lee DeWyze Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová 3 Safe2
Solo "I'm Alright" — Caddyshack Kenny Loggins 5
Top 3 Contestant's Choice "Come to My Window" Melissa Etheridge 2 Safe
Judges' Choice3 "Maybe I'm Amazed" Paul McCartney 5
Top 2 Contestant's Choice "Me and Bobby McGee" Roger Miller 2 Runner-up
Simon Fuller's Choice "Black Velvet" Alannah Myles 4
First Single "Up to the Mountain" Patty Griffin 6
  • ^Note 1 Due to the judges using their one 'save' for Michael Lynche, the Top 9 remained intact for another week.
  • ^Note 2 Though Crystal Bowersox was the last contestant announced to be 'safe' and moving on to the Top 3, Ryan Seacrest stressed on the Top 4 Results Night that 'safe' contestants would be announced "in no particular order."[13] Thus, the audience has no way of knowing which of the Top 3 was the second-lowest vote-getter that night after Michael Lynche, who was eliminated.
  • ^Note 3 Song selected by Ellen DeGeneres.

Post-Idol career[edit]

On May 27, 2010, one day after Bowersox's second place Idol finish, it was announced that she had signed with 19 Entertainment/Jive Records.[14] Her single "Up to the Mountain" has since been released to radio stations and iTunes.

2010–12: Farmer's Daughter[edit]

Bowersox's debut album, Farmer's Daughter, was released to stores and iTunes on December 14, 2010. Bowersox performed her single "Farmer's Daughter" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on December 16, 2010.

On October 7, 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, all other artists previously signed to these three labels would see their future material released under the RCA Records brand.[15][16] However, Bowersox was not one of the artists who made the move, and was instead left without a record label.

She made her acting debut on a second-season episode of Body of Proof.[17][18]

An EP of pre-Idol recordings was called Once Upon a Time... was self-released in June 2012.

She was a guest on the Blues Traveler album, Suzie Cracks the Whip, performing vocals with John Popper on the song "I Don't Wanna Go", and appeared with them in concert at their concert of July 4, 2012 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

2012–present: All That for This[edit]

In October 2012, Bowersox signed a recording deal with Shanachie Records.[19]

On January 7, 2013, it was confirmed that Bowersox's second studio album, All That for This, would be released March 26, 2013.[20] The album was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and features Jakob Dylan.[21] Bowersox debuted the first single from the album, "Dead Weight", on On Air with Ryan Seacrest on February 5, 2013. Bowersox told Seacrest, "This song means more to me than even I can completely comprehend."[20]

Bowersox began a headlining tour in support of the album on March 1, 2013. The band Montë Mar was her concert opener, as well as her backing band on dates through March 31, 2013.[22][23] On March 25, 2013, Bowersox appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and performed her song "Movin' On" to promote the album. It was announced here that Bowersox will play Patsy Cline in the Broadway production of Always, Patsy Cline.[24] It was announced on June 11, 2013 that Bowersox would be headlining the Lancaster Festival in Lancaster, Ohio on June 27, 2013[25]

Personal life[edit]

Bowersox and musician Brian Walker were married on October 10, 2010, at Uncommon Ground Café in Chicago, the restaurant where the couple had met six years earlier while both were performing at Open Mic Night.[26] It was announced on May 6, 2013, that they were ending their marriage.[27]

While appearing on Good Day L.A. to promote her Christmas album on November 26, 2013, Bowersox came out as bisexual. "I have been bisexual as long as I can remember," she said. Bowersox then performed her song "Coming Out For Christmas" which explores the subject matter.[28] Crystal Bowersox is currently in a long distance relationship with Native Tiktoker, Ojibwayman. He currently resides in Ontario,CA.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak Certifications
2010 Farmer's Daughter[29] 28 2 8 90
2013 All That for This 71 21
2017 Alive
  • Release date: 2017
  • Label:
  • Format:

Digital albums[edit]

Year Album Peak Sales
2010 Season 9 Favorite Performances 6[32] 38
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays[edit]

List of EPs with relevant details
Year Title EP details
2012 Once Upon a Time...
  • Released: May 29, 2012
  • Label: self-release
  • Format: Digital download, CD
2014 Promises
  • Release date: September 23, 2014 [34]
  • Label: Mamasox
  • Format: CD, digital download


Year Single Peak Album
US[32] CAN
2010 "Up to the Mountain" 57 47 Non-album single
"Farmer's Daughter" 73 Farmer's Daughter
2013 "Movin' On" All That for This
"Dead Weight"
"Coming Out for Christmas" Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Digital singles[edit]

Year Single Peak Album
US[32] CAN
2010 "Falling Slowly" (with Lee DeWyze) 66 70 non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Director(s)
2010 "Farmer's Daughter" Meiert Avis
2013 "Dead Weight" Tiger Tiger
2017 "Until Then" Steven Rosenfeld


Year Title Role Other notes
2011 Body of Proof Zoe Brant Episode: "Second Chances"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Presenter Award Result
2010 Teen Choice Awards Female Reality/Variety Star Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Where Crystal Bowersox comes from - tribunedigital-chicagotribune". April 28, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Birth Record of Crystal Lynn Bowersox". MooseRoots. Retrieved November 1, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Crystal Bowersox: Songwriter, Singer, Television Personality". Biography Channel. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Tenderich, Amy (September 20, 2010). "Crystal Bowersox: Her First Interview on Diabetes". Healthline. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  5. ^ Alex Strachan (May 21, 2010). "Bowersox an Idol to idolize". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  6. ^ Bella Horton (March 3, 2010). "Crystal Bowersox Hospital: 2010 American Idol Contestant Hospitalized for Diabetes?". CNN. Archived from the original on March 6, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  7. ^ "Crystal Bowersox's 'American Idol' Future Uncertain". Associated Press. March 3, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  8. ^ "Crystal Bowersox Wows "Idol" Judges". CBS News. Associated Press. March 4, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  9. ^ James Montgomery (March 9, 2010). "Crystal Bowersox's 'Give Me One Reason' Dominates 'American Idol'". MTV. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  10. ^ Slezak, Michael (May 22, 2010). "'Idolatry': Breaking down the Crystal-Lee finale (and bidding adieu to Casey) on 'American Idol' |". Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Crystal Bowersox and Boyfriend Split Before Idol Finale". People. May 27, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  12. ^ "Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze dish on judges' picks, why viewers should vote for them". USA Today. May 20, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  13. ^ [1] Archived May 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "American Idol Finalists Sign Record Deals". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  15. ^ Christman, Ed (August 23, 2011). "RCA's New Executive Team Named Under CEO Peter Edge Amid Layoffs (Update)". Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  16. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  17. ^ Slezak, Michael (October 25, 2011). "Crystal Bowersox on Body of Proof Season 2, Episode 6, Second Chances". TVLine. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  18. ^ Stanhope, Kate (October 24, 2011). "Crystal Bowersox Makes Her Acting Debut on Body of Proof: "I Was Pretty Insecure" - Today's News: Our Take". Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  19. ^ "American Idol's Crystal Bowersox Signs Label Deal With Shanachie". Hollywood Reporter. October 3, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  20. ^ a b c Mansfield, Bryan (February 5, 2013). "Crystal Bowersox unveils new single". USA Today. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  21. ^ "New Crystal Bowersox Album Set for March (PHOTO)". Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  22. ^ "Monte Mar February 28, 2013 status". Facebook. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  23. ^ "Tour Dates". Monte Mar. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "Crystal Bowersox on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Video: 'Movin' On' Performance March 25, 2013". Shallow Nation. Archived from the original on March 30, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  25. ^ "Bowersox to perform at Lancaster Festival". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  26. ^ Laudadio, Marisa (October 10, 2010). "Crystal Bowersox Gets Married!". People. Retrieved October 16, 2010.
  27. ^ Coughlan, Maggie; Laudadio, Marisa (May 6, 2013). "Crystal Bowersox Splits From Husband". People. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  28. ^ "Crystal Bowersox: I Have Been Bisexual For As Long As I Can Remember VIDEO". Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Twitter / crystalbowersox: @Ronda73 " farmers daughter"". Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  30. ^ "'American Idol': With Scotty McCreery's Successful Debut, Did Universal Learn From Sony's Mistakes?". The Hollywood Reporter. October 21, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  31. ^ Mansfield, Brian (April 3, 2013). "Colton Dixon sales soar after 'Idol' performance". USA Today.
  32. ^ a b c Trust, Gary (June 3, 2010). "Chart Beat Thursday: Lee & Crystal Rock On". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  33. ^ Caulfield, Keith (June 2, 2010). "'Idols' Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox Impact Billboard Charts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  34. ^ "Crystal Bowersox - Promises - Music". Retrieved November 4, 2015.

External links[edit]