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Bo Bice

Bo Bice

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 1, 1975 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Huntsville, Alabama, USA Profession:

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Armed with raw talent and rock-and-roll swagger, Bo Bice changed the way contestants looked and sounded on "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ), as well as paved the way for non-pop artists to compete on the hit show. Harold Elwin Bice III was born on Nov. 1, 1975 in Helena, AL and reportedly received the nickname "Bo" after his grandmother thought the newborn resembled actor Humphrey Bogart. Bice grew up with his mother, a gospel singer who exposed him to music at an early age, after she remarried and moved the family to England when he was 14. The future star dropped out of high school in 1993 and moved back to Alabama to pursue a career as a singer and songwriter. Bice released his first album in 1995 with the band Purge and opened for several bands on tour, including Warrant and Blackfoot. For its fourth season, producers of the hit reality competition series "American Idol" raised the age limit for auditions to 28 years old. Upon the encouragement of his family, Bice tried out for the show that summer and landed in the season's Top 12 finalists. As one of the oldest contestants to ever appear on the show, Bice competed against fellow rocker Constantine Maroulis, R&B singer Vonzell Solomon, and an...

Armed with raw talent and rock-and-roll swagger, Bo Bice changed the way contestants looked and sounded on "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ), as well as paved the way for non-pop artists to compete on the hit show. Harold Elwin Bice III was born on Nov. 1, 1975 in Helena, AL and reportedly received the nickname "Bo" after his grandmother thought the newborn resembled actor Humphrey Bogart. Bice grew up with his mother, a gospel singer who exposed him to music at an early age, after she remarried and moved the family to England when he was 14. The future star dropped out of high school in 1993 and moved back to Alabama to pursue a career as a singer and songwriter. Bice released his first album in 1995 with the band Purge and opened for several bands on tour, including Warrant and Blackfoot. For its fourth season, producers of the hit reality competition series "American Idol" raised the age limit for auditions to 28 years old. Upon the encouragement of his family, Bice tried out for the show that summer and landed in the season's Top 12 finalists. As one of the oldest contestants to ever appear on the show, Bice competed against fellow rocker Constantine Maroulis, R&B singer Vonzell Solomon, and an Oklahoma-born country sweetheart named Carrie Underwood.

During his season, Bice proved long-haired rockers had a rightful place on the "American Idol" stage. He consistently wowed the show's judges and millions of fans with his soulful rock renditions of Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be" (2004) and Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" (1974). Yet it was in the Southern rock genre that allowed Bice to command the stage, from covering Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" (1974), to performing the finale single "Inside Your Heaven" (2005). Bice went head-to-head with Underwood in the finale, only to be voted as the runner-up. After the season wrapped, Bice went on tour with his fellow finalists on the "American Idol" live show and worked on his debut album. Released in December 2005, The Real Thing debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard album chart and featured the type of rock and folk-tinged tracks that had made Bice a fan favorite on the show. Bice toured extensively in support of the album, but the rigorous schedule took its toll on his health. He cancelled his appearance on the 2005 Radio Music Awards after coughing up blood due to a recurring intestinal condition. He was hospitalized for months until an emergency surgery was performed in October 2006. The following year, having regained his health, Bice performed the title track for the comedy feature "Blades of Glory" (2007), which starred Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. He also released his second album, See the Light through his own independent label, StratArt. In 2010, Bice appeared alongside former "Idol" finalists to win money for charity on a special edition of the game show "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" (Fox, 2007- ).

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