Kris Allen: Snapshot

Kris Allen
Date of Birth
June 21, 1985
Birth Place
Conway, Ark
Adam Lambert may have been the dazzling showstopper of American Idol's eighth season, but soft-spoken Kris Allen was the soulful underdog who eventually won the hearts of millions.

The Arkansas native's humble demeanor and innovative renditions of such hits as Kanye West's "Heartless," helped the shy cutie nab the Idol crown. And although he's a married man, girls (and even runner-up Lambert!) couldn't help but swoon over his good looks. Though the crooner's self-titled debut album was released in November 2009 to disappointing sales, the laid-back singer shows no signs of slowing down – and neither does his personal success: Allen welcomed his first child, son Oliver, with wife Katy in 2013.

Kris Allen: Video

Star Talk

The Idol winner answers reader questions about babies, barbeque and boxers or briefs (02:00)

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Kris Allen: Five Fun Facts

  1. Kris Allen has an admirer! American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert admitted he had a crush on his competitor. "[He's] nice, nonchalant, pretty and totally my type–except that he has a wife," Lambert told Rolling Stone.
  2. Kris Allen's got skills on the viola – which he picked up in fourth grade because a few of his pals took up the instrument. "All my friends stopped playing but I kept playing until the end of high school," he told EW.
  3. After serving as an American Idol mentor, Jamie Foxx told Kris Allen he'd like to do a record with him. "I'm a macho man, but he was singing and I was like, 'Oh my goodness'," the singer-actor told Ellen DeGeneres.
  4. After Kris Allen performed "Falling Slowly" from the film Once on American Idol, the movie's stars sent him a signed vinyl album and letter of thanks. "It almost brought me to tears," Allen told EW.
  5. The American Idol PR team forbade Kris Allen from saying the word "benches" on-air because his slight Southern accent made it sound like he was saying "bitches."

Kris Allen: Biography


Kris Allen

Auditioning for Idol

Allen's brother Daniel convinces him to audition for American Idol's eighth season in Louisville, Ky. Singing "A Song For You," the soft-spoken hopeful fails to impress judge Simon Cowell, who says, "I think part of the problem, Kris, is you, because you don't have a huge amount of personality." Despite the criticism, he advances to Hollywood Week.

Kris Allen

September 26

Kris Weds Katy

Allen marries high school sweetheart Katy O'Connell in a sunset ceremony on the Arkansas river. "We just had a blast," he tells PEOPLE of the celebration, attended by 400 guests. "She's been my best friend for a long time. She's the coolest chick in the world."


Kris Allen

March 31

Ain't No One Better

Emerging as the competition's "dark horse," Allen wows audiences with his soulful performance of "Ain't No Sunshine" during Top 9 week. Though the judges show him no love, EW raves, "Kris's ability to consistently dial back on notes…makes it that much more delectable when he finally goes in for the power growl."

Read More on Kris Allen's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): INF; Courtesy of Kris Allen; Frank Micelotta/Getty

Edited by Julia Wang

Kris Allen

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