A year after his electrifying performances made him a favorite with “American Idol” fans around the world, singer-songwriter Michael Johns will release debut album Hold Back My Heart on June 23 through TRP Records being distributed by Downtown Records/Fontana.
Johns was a top ten finalist during season 7 of “American Idol” and his departure from the show drew outcries from the series’ mega-million-strong audience and helped inspire a new rule for the current season. This year sees the show using a new “judges save” rule for the top 13 finalists, allowing judges to keep a contestant from being eliminated prematurely. When introducing the new rule, the show ran footage of Michael Johns, Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson and asked “what do these three Idols have in common,” with the answer being that all three were sent home too soon.
Not that Johns is complaining.
“Talk about the chance of a lifetime,” says the Aussie native. “’Idol’ allowed me to introduce myself to the world and I plan on making the most of that opportunity.”
He’ll start with Hold Back My Heart, an album that sees Johns drawing inspiration from his own idols—Paul Weller, Joe Cocker, the Faces—to create a stunning collection of blues-soaked rock and classic soul songs. Among the album’s many highlights is lead single “Heart On My Sleeve,” co-written by John Shanks (Carlos Santana, Sting, Bon Jovi). The track impacts radio on April 21 and iTunes on April 14.
In between his time on “Idol” and the recording of Hold Back My Heart, Johns recorded the holiday song “Another Christmas” and donated its proceeds to the Red Cross and ALS. He also co-wrote the soundtrack for the acclaimed documentary Don’t Look Down, based on Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, performed on the west coast run of Kanye West’s “Glow in the Dark” tour and on the PBS special “Hit Man: David Foster and Friends,” the latter featuring Michael Buble, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. Additional appearances include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” ‘Live with Regis & Kelly,” “The Today Show,” and “Ellen.” In addition Johns just co-wrote a track for the upcoming album from “Idol” alum Brooke White.
”I remember driving down the freeway at age 15 and Pearl Jam’s ‘Daughter’ was on the radio,” Johns recalls. “I don’t know what it was about that song, but afterward I kept singing it over and over. The feeling it gave me made me say, ‘I have to do this for life.’ I started a band a few months later and have been going ever since. I never dreamed it would take me here.”