Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
|Born||1992/1993 (age 26–27)|
Alexandria, Louisiana, United States
|Labels||Harding Street Assembly Lab|
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon (26–27 years old) is an American singer-songwriter and student from Catonsville, Maryland. In 2019 he came to national attention on the seventeenth season of the reality singing contest American Idol, presenting his vocal range — including his falsetto, and ultimately placing sixth in that competition.
Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, Harmon is the oldest son of four children who grew up with a family life centered around the church. Harmon grew up singing in church, "I think that's ingrained in a lot of my musicality." Harmon's father is a Baptist preacher and senior pastor at Grace Bible Baptist Church in Baltimore who delivered an anti-gay sermon while Harmon was waiting to see if he made Idol’s Top 20. His dad complained of being "forced to accept" homosexuality is normal. Past members of his dad's church "came forward to speak out against the homophobia. Jeremiah says he's spiritual rather than religious. He started to realize he was gay at nine years old. He said his home life was gloomy because his family didn't support his sexuality.
Harmon won a scholarship to Liberty University to be in the gospel choir, which Metro Weekly noted was the "notoriously anti-LGBTQ school founded by Jerry Falwell". He later transferred to Towson University, a public university and Maryland's first training school for teachers, where he's studying vocal performance. Before Idol he worked at Babcock Presbyterian Church and at Baltimore Area Community Health Services as a counselor.
Harmon cites as his inspirations: Jeff Buckley, both as performer and vocalist, as well as songwriters Sufjan Stevens, Leonard Cohen, Carole King, and Paul Simon. He sees Elton John as an idol.
In talking about his responsibility to communicate his experience through music he said, "You become kind of like this voice for other people through your art, and it's a way of connecting." This has helped him in dealing with coming out in a conservative environment, and helped him be more transparent in the process.
2015–2018: Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
Harmon started songwriting while in Lynchburg, Virginia, and performed three years in a row at the Lynchstock Music Festival. In August 2017 he released the four-song EP Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, a folk-jazz fusion project with Virginia record label Harding Street Assembly Lab. In August 2018 he released a single, "Learn to Love" recorded at Glass Village Studios.
2019: American Idol
Harmon's audition in New York City for the show aired on the third episode where he sang an original composition "Almost Heaven". The song asks if there is a place for gay people in heaven, and relates the struggle of "being gay and Christian". He made a point of letting the judges know he was a songwriter as well as a singer. He revealed that he was estranged from his religious family after they rejected him once he came out to them as gay. He is the highest placing Idol contestant that season from the Baltimore area after Emma Kleinberg of Bel Air, and Dimitrius Graham of Windsor Mill, who were eliminated from the Top 40 and Top 10 respectively. He rehearses each week for twenty hours on the music in addition to the behind the scenes craft of being on television and non-musical preparation.
Harmon was announced as being in the bottom two during Top Six week with Laci Kaye Booth after the nationwide vote results, the judges used their one ‘save’ of the season for Booth and he was eliminated on the May 5, 2019 show. Entertainment news website Gold Derby conducted a poll on the decision with 82% in favor of saving Harmon instead.
- Audition, "Almost Heaven", an original composition.
- Hollywood week, Lines of Ten, "Beautiful", 1975 song by Carole King.
- Hollywood week, Group Round, Harmon's trio did "Stop! In the Name of Love", 1965 single by The Supremes.
- Hollywood week, Solo, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a 1972 cover by Roberta Flack of the 1957 folk song.
- Top 40, "Landslide", 1975 song by Fleetwood Mac.
- Top 20 solo, "Make You Feel My Love", a 1975 song by Bob Dylan.
- Top 20 duet with Cynthia Erivo, "Time After Time", 1984 song by Cyndi Lauper.
- Top 14 song one, "We All Fall in Love Sometimes", track from Elton John‘s 1975 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
- Top 14 song two, "Almost Heaven", an original song.
- Top 10 song, "Candle on the Water", from the 1977 film Pete's Dragon.
- Top 8 solo, "Who Wants to Live Forever", 1986 song by Queen.
- Top 8 duet, "A Million Dreams" with fellow finalist Madison Vandenburg, from the 2017 film The Greatest Showman.
- Top 6, song one, "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)", a 1985 cover by Barbra Streisand of the 1957 original from the musical West Side Story.
- Top 6, song two, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", a 1960s cover by Joan Baez of an African-American spiritual written sometime after 1865.
- Finale, duet with judge Katy Perry on her 2013 song "Unconditionally".
According to his Facebook page Harmon continues to write music and hopes to release an album soon. Harmon plans to move to Nashville, Tennessee, most famous musically for its status as the long-time capital of country music, to further his career. In May 2019, Ben Platt, who had ‘stalked’ Harmon on social media, invited him to perform in San Francisco during Platt's tour, they did a duet of Bob Dylan’s ballad "Make You Feel My Love."
In June 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, sparking the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, Queerty named him one of the Pride50 "trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people.
Since early 2018 Harmon has been dating his boyfriend John who accompanied him to every Idol audition and performance. They originally matched on dating app Tinder more than a year prior but saw each other at the Kingsville, Maryland gym at the YMCA where Harmon shared his phone number. John is also a musician.
- Dixon, Marcus James; Dixon, Marcus James (May 6, 2019). "'It's just the beginning': Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon sends love to 'American Idol' fans after shocking elimination". GoldDerby. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- EDT, Hannah Preston on 5/6/19 at 1:43 pm (May 6, 2019). "What Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon is doing now after his shocking departure from 'American Idol' last night". Newsweek. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- magazine, Baltimore (April 15, 2019). "Catonsville's Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Talks American Idol Fame". Baltimore magazine. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon: Exclusive interview with the gay American Idol phenom". Metro Weekly. April 11, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Boteler, Cody. "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Catonsville resident and Towson University student, continues on 'American Idol'". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon's father delivered anti-gay sermon while he was performing on 'American Idol'". Metro Weekly. May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Reddish, David (June 5, 2019). "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, the American Idol who shows us what Christian values really are". queerty.com. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "'American Idol's Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Says His Family Accepts Him". out.com. April 4, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Dixon, Marcus James; Dixon, Marcus James (March 26, 2019). "Church janitor Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon breaks away from 'gloomy' home life, shines during 'American Idol' Hollywood week [WATCH]". GoldDerby. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Norwin, Alyssa (April 21, 2019). "'American Idol': Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Reveals If His Parents Will Ever Attend The Show To Support Him". Hollywood Life. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Norwin, Alyssa (April 14, 2019). "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon: 5 Things To Know About The Inspiring 'American Idol' Singer". Hollywood Life. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "HSAL No. 47 – "Learn To Love" (Single), by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon". Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "WATCH: Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon makes 'American Idol' Top 10". Metro Weekly. April 16, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "Who Is Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon? New Details on The 'American Idol' Star Wowing Audiences". YourTango. May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Dicker, Ron (May 6, 2019). "Shocking Elimination Rocks 'American Idol'". HuffPost. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "'American Idol' Recap: Laine Hardy Returns, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Is a Knockout". Billboard. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Dixon, Marcus James; Dixon, Marcus James (April 24, 2019). "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon ('American Idol') powers through this private 'Blackbird' performance even though he lost his voice [WATCH]". GoldDerby. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "TU's Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon advances on "American Idol"". Towson University. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Sheehan, Paul; Sheehan, Paul (May 6, 2019). "'American Idol': Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon was robbed of a place in the Top 5, say 82% of season 17 viewers". GoldDerby. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Dixon, Marcus James; Dixon, Marcus James (May 1, 2019). "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon ('American Idol') speaks out after being bullied online: 'I'm really not that concerned about your opinion'". GoldDerby. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "American Idol 2019 Recap: Grand Finale Highlights and Winner! | American Idol". ABC. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "Ben Platt Duets With Gay 'American Idol' Star Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon". pride.com. May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- "Queerty Pride50 2019 Honorees". Queerty. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
- Reddish, David (June 5, 2019). "Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, the American Idol who shows us what Christian values really are". queerty.com. Retrieved June 8, 2019.