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- January 15, 2007
- Vol. 67
- No. 2
Idol No More
With a Successful Debut Album, Chris Daughtry Takes Off as a Rock Star—But Loves Playing the Family Man at Home
In fact, the 27-year-old rocker is riding higher than ever, thanks to his million-selling debut album, Daughtry, a hit single, "It's Not Over," and an upcoming U.S. tour. "He's the real deal," says producer Howard Benson, who oversaw Daughtry, on which the singer wrote or cowrote nearly all of the tracks. "That's why [Idol] is so great: This guy should've been signed when he was 20."
Growing up in North Carolina and Virginia, Daughtry was part comic-book geek, part jock until finding his calling in school productions of The Wiz and Peter Pan. At 16, he joined a pal's band and began paying his dues, later working at a car dealership (see photo caption).
Then, on his way to becoming a rock star, Daughtry became an instant family man. In 2000 he met Deanna, 33, who had two kids from a previous relationship: Hannah, 10, and Griffin, 8. Six months later they married. "It wasn't like, This is cool that I'm a rock guy taking on two kids," says Daughtry, who recently settled outside Greensboro, N.C. "It just felt like that was what I was supposed to do."
These days his biggest challenge is balancing fame and family. "There has to be a lot of trust on both parts," he says of being on the road away from Deanna. "My first couple weeks in L.A., I went out to the clubs. It's a quick 'woo-hoo!' Then it's like, 'pffffft.' I'm trying to put more focus on the stuff that's going to last."
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