Ruben Studdard’s most notable accomplishment is being the “American Idol” season two champion. While he also excels in Pop and R&B, Studdard is best known for his work as a gospel vocalist.
Christopher Theodore Ruben Studdard was born to American parents on September 12, 1978, in Frankfurt, West Germany. After serving in the Army, his father was stationed in Germany, and the family then relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, where both of his parents were employed as teachers. At the Birmingham Rising Star Baptist Church, Ruben performed his first song when he was three years old.
While his mother was a member of the neighborhood choir, he continued to sing gospel in church and gave solo performances as a child. His mother’s Donny Hathaway CDs served as a source of inspiration for him. Football player Studdard attended Alabama A&M University on a scholarship after playing at Huffman High School. While a student at the institution, Studdard joined the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia men’s music fraternity’s Omicron Delta chapter.
He was a voice major who performed with the well-known neighborhood jazz and R&B band Just a Few Cats. While he was recording recordings, the band’s backup vocalist requested Ruben to go with her to Nashville so she could try out for the second season of “American Idol” in 2003.
Studdard sang “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder during his audition. As a result, he was selected as one of the regional finalists. In addition to becoming a fan favorite and earning the moniker “Velvet Teddy Bear,” he impressed viewers with his renditions of “Superstar” and “A Whole New World” on “American Idol.” Legendary musicians like Luther Vandross, Gladys Knight, and Lionel Richie praised Studdard while he was a guest on the program.
Studdard won the second “American Idol” winner and the first male winner in the May 2003 finale after defeating Clay Aiken by 134,000 votes out of 24,000,000 casts. The 11th of March 2003 was designated as Ruben Studdard Day by Alabama Governor Bob Riley.
A version of Westlife’s “Flying Without Wings,” which Studdard had sung on the American Idol grand finale, served as his debut song. It did well with sales and made its Billboard Hot 100 debut at No. 2. Before it was made available for purchase, “Soulful,” his debut album, received more than a million advance orders. In December 2003, it made its debut at the top of the Billboard 200 album list. The song “Sorry 2004” had a lot of exposure and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and No. 9 on the Hot 100. He received a Grammy nomination in 2003 for “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” for the song “Superstar.” He was nominated with Luther Vandross, his idol, who ultimately won the prize. The NAACP Outstanding New Artist award was given to Studdard in March 2004.
“I Need an Angel,” a gospel album by Ruben, was his following offering and it was released on November 23, 2004. It topped the gospel charts at No. 1 and sold over 95,000 copies in its debut week. The album received Gold certification and peaked at No. 1 on the Year-End Gospel Albums chart the 2005 Billboard. In October 2006, his third album, “The Return,” was made available. He made an appearance on American Idol’s season six finale the following year. Due to the album’s underwhelming 2007 sales, he was let go by his record label, J Records. On May 19, 2009, his subsequent album, “Love Is,” was made available with favorable reviews. In 2010, Ruben and Clay Aiken set off on a joint tour of the United States and Canada. Instead of concentrating on each singer’s own albums, the duo chose to perform a range of medleys of songs from the 1960s through the 1990s.
2011 saw the publication of Studdard’s fifth studio album, “Letters from Birmingham,” under his contract with Shanachie Entertainment, which was largely well-received. His lead single, “June 28 (I’m Single),” hit the top 20 on the Billboard charts, and it sold 22,000 copies. In 2015, he released “Unconditional Love,” his sixth studio album, on the relaunched Verve Records label. Some of Studdard’s strongest reviews of his career were given to the album, which opened at #46 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart. In support of the record, he went on tour with Lalah Hathaway, a collaborator and the daughter of his idol Donny Hathaway.
2018 saw the publication of Studdard’s “Ruben Sings Luther” tribute album on the SEG Music label. He still makes frequent appearances on American Idol as a mentor and on occasion as a performer with finalists.
Ruben Studdard had a flourishing music career and also made appearances on a number of TV programs, including “Eve,” “Simple Rules,” “Life on a Stick,” and “Simple Rules.” In the movie Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, he also had a brief appearance. He accepted the part of Fats Waller in a national tour of “Ain’t Misbehavin” in 2008, and he has toured alongside Robin Givens in the comedy-drama Heaven I Need a Hug. When he rejoined Clay Aiken in “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show (also known as Ruben & Clay’s Christmas Show),” Studdard made his Broadway debut in December 2018.
He took part in the fifteenth season of “The Biggest Loser,” a reality competition show about weight loss, in 2013. At 6’3 and 462 pounds, the first celebrity contestant Studdard had the highest starting weight and BMI of the whole cast. He shed 119 pounds, bringing his weight down to 343 pounds, as announced at the show’s conclusion.
At the Alabama A&M University graduating ceremony in December 2015, Studdard was presented with an honorary Master of Arts degree. He continues to be a part of the singing fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
At a CD signing at an Atlanta Wal-Mart in October 2006, he first met Surata Zuri McCants. They got hitched in June 2008, and they divorced in 2011. In April 2012, their divorce was legally formalized.
What is the net worth of Ruben Studdard?
American R&B, pop, and gospel musician Ruben Studdard have a $3 million dollar.