David Cook: Snapshot

David Cook
Date of Birth
December 20, 1982
Birth Place
Houston, Texas
Newsweek compared David Cook's stage presence to that of presidential hopeful Barack Obama. After sneaking to the front of the pack on Season 7's American Idol, Cook got better week after week. Yes, 17-year-old David Archuleta was cute, but the 25-year-old bartender/musician proved American Idol was a singing competition after all.

The Missouri native, who sang and played guitar in two bands before Idol, didn't intend to audition for the hit talent show. When he went to the Omaha cattle call, he was there in support of his brother Andrew, who didn't make the cut. But producers persuaded Cook to tryout, and he blew the judges away with his rendition of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer." Making it all the way to the finale, the Midwestern rocker beat the boy wonder for the Idol crown and released his self-titled debut album.

David Cook: Video

Star Talk

Wonder if you're his type? Find out as the American Idol winner shares his dream girl, romantic secrets (yes, he's serenaded a woman before!) and more. (01:34)

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David Cook: Five Fun Facts

  1. David Cook has a ''heartthrob'' tattoo on his chest, which he got after a Tulsa magazine dubbed him, "Tulsa's Newest Heartthrob." "My friends razzed me about [the magazine article]," he told PEOPLE. "And so [Heartthrob] became this nickname, and I just thought, Why not? It's a little heart."
  2. "I found out that I could sing when I was really little," David Cook revealed on American Idol. "I was singing in the bathroom and I remember my mom coming in and saying, 'David, you actually have a decent voice.'" His mom, Beth Foraker, alerted Cook's elementary school music instructor Fredalyn Gentry, who gave Cook his first solo.
  3. Calling himself a "jeans and T-shirt guy", David Cook has a practical approach to fashion. "You buy the Hanes 3-pack of T-shirts and that's three days of not having to do laundry," he told PEOPLE.
  4. The "AC" on David Cook's guitar stands for his brothers, Adam (who is battling brain cancer) and Andrew. They "are my inspirations," Cook told PEOPLE. "So out of superstition, I put their initials on anything. It's a comfort, like packing your pillow on the road."
  5. David Cook is "an expert television watcher," he said on American Idol. "I'm also fantastic at sleeping and eating…They're not talents so much as skills."

David Cook: Biography


David Cook

A Budding Idol

After graduating from Blue Springs South High School – where he played with his band, Axium – Cook studies graphic design at Central Missouri State University. Upon graduation, he relocates to Tulsa, Okla. "He's the real thing," Jeff Martinson, the owner of the Blank Slate complex of clubs in downtown Tulsa, where Cook bartends and performs, tells the AP. "He's gone out and actually played hundreds of gigs in bars in front of, sometimes, five people."


David Cook

American Idol Audition

Cook accompanies his brother Andrew to an audition for the seventh season of American Idol in Omaha, Neb. Saying that he "brings something a little different to the table," the 24-year-old bartender sings Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer." Although judge Simon Cowell says it was "a bit worthy," all three judges send him to Hollywood.


David Cook

April 15

Always Be My Baby!

With his ailing brother in the front row, Cook delivers his "most brilliant performance yet" – according to Randy Jackson. Performing a rocked-out rendition of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby," Cook breaks out of the Idol pack, and his brother Adam, who is undergoing chemotherapy for brain cancer, says he was ''blown away.'' A year later, Cook loses his brother to a brain tumor.

Read More on David Cook's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Frank W. Ockenfels

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): FOX; INF; Getty, inset: INF

Edited by Julia Wang

David Cook

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