LIFE

Simon Challenges Contestant To Sing ‘Hallelujah,’ Then Singer Stuns All 4 Judges With His Voice

by Megan Wrappe
Megan is a writer from North Carolina who loves sports, sees way too many Broadway shows, and loves a good adventure! When she's not writing, you can find her curled up in bed with a Jane Austen book.

When singer Lee DeWyze tried out for American Idol in 2009, no one had any idea who he was.

He was working as a paint salesman after being expelled from high school, and tried out for the show just because his good friend, Vincent Ferrara, convinced him to.

At his audition, where he sang Bill Withers’ classic song “Ain’t No Sunshine,” he received the golden ticket to Hollywood, guaranteeing him a spot in the competition. But that wasn’t the only stop.

Lee made it to the Top 10 on the show, but took a while to catch on with fans. His rough-sounding voice didn’t resonate with the audience like other artists did, but he didn’t give up.

During the coaches’ choice week, judge Simon Cowell chose Lee’s performance song, Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah.” And once he sang it, everyone knew they were staring at a winner.

His smooth, soulful vocals make the classic song sound completely new. His passion is palpable as he sings with a full choir behind him.

And that’s exactly what people thought when Leonard Cohen first arrived on people’s radars in the 1960s.

Everyone seems to think that Leonard Cohen is an American-born singer, but he’s actually from Canada. He moved to the United States in the late 1960s to pursue a career as a folk singer since being a writer didn’t pan out quite like he wanted.

He quickly became friends with artist Andy Warhol, who introduced him to singer Judy Collins. She featured him in one of her shows, and the crowds went nuts for him.

After a little bit more media attention, he was signed to his first record deal with Columbia Records in 1967.

Soon, artists like James Taylor and Bon Jovi began doing their own covers of Cohen’s songs, and many of them are now the artists’ own classic performances. Some music aficionados have even called Cohen the most fascinating artist of the 1960s.

With Leonard’s passing on November 10, he leaves behind a full career of music that still continues to inspire generations of musicians, and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Please SHARE Lee’s stunning performance with all the Leonard Cohen fans you know on Facebook!

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