Former ‘American Idol’ Winner Scores New Gig

The 'American Idol' finale stage

Getty The 'American Idol' finale stage

Former “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard has scored a new job. According to News Channel 9, Studdard will join the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s music division. The outlet reported that he will “lead a series of masterclasses on campus during the spring 2022 semester.”


Here’s what you need to know:

Ruben Studdard Is the Son of Two Educators

In a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga press release, Studdard shared of his new gig, “This is an opportunity to share all the wisdom that I’ve gained with young people and I’m so looking forward to it. I understand the importance of ‘See it, be it,’ and there are a lot of young people that want to be involved in the music industry that are music majors or theater majors or just in the arts, in general, and they really don’t know what that looks like in a real way.”

According to UTC, Studdard is the son of two educators. His mother teaches in the Birmingham public school system, to date, and his father worked as a body collision technology teacher.

He told the news outlet, “When I was in school, I just wanted information…and I loved my music history class. That was one of my favorite classes, not because I thought I would learn from Bach’s experience, but I just wanted to know about it. There may be kids that have that same desire to know for the sake of knowing.”

Studdard Won ‘American Idol’ in 2003

Studdard soared to fame in 2003, after winning the second season of “American Idol.”

As of 2021, he has been the voice behind seven studio albums. According to UTC, his debut album, “Soulful,” was labeled platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

In December 2018, Studdard made his Broadway theater debut at the Imperial Theater at “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show.”

In an interview with Playbill, Studdard was asked what fans could expect from the play. He replied, “Just to have a good time. I mean I think Christmas is about fun and family and the overall jovial spirit of the holiday.”

Asked what he was excited to experience with his Broadway debut, Studdard added, “I’m just looking forward to being here with Clay. Performing is performing—getting onstage and having a good time. I’m looking forward to the little like quirky things that’ll probably happen that nobody else will catch that go on between him and I.”

According to All Music, Studdard was born in Germany on September 12, 1978. As a child, he often performed at his parents’ Baptist church. In college, Studdard switched gears from being an athlete and decided to focus on music full-on. He attended Alabama A&M University, where he graduated from in 2000.

As highlighted by the outlet, Studdard was called a “velvet teddy bear” by Gladys Knight during his tenure on “American Idol.” The name has stuck, and Studdard has continued to gain momentum in the music industry ever since being crowned the winner of “Idol” in May 2003.

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