The fifth season of FOX television's popular talent competition, "American Idol", is now in full swing. Last year's winner, Carrie Underwood, quickly became a Country music superstar. 2005's runner-up Bo Bice hopes to achieve equal attention with his debut album, "The Real Thing."
The American Idol talent competition has produced several successful recording artists. 30-year-old Bo Bice, a Southern rocker from Alabama, placed second in last year's competition, and earned a recording deal with RCA Records. His debut album The Real Thing entered Billboard's 200 chart at Number 4 and has been certified gold with sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the U.S.
Bo collaborated on the album with former Evanescense guitarist Ben Moody, Jon Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, Nickelback's Chad Kroeger and Swedish hitmaker Max Martin. He describes The Real Thing as a combination of his favorite music styles.
"There's a nice mix of some rock and then you get some Southern rock, blues, so I think we've got a very eclectic view there," he said.
Bo earned millions of fans during his time on American Idol. One of those fans was Carlos Santana, who invited Bo to sing "Brown Skin Girl" on his latest album All That I Am.
After finishing the 2005 American Idol competition, Bo was scheduled to perform a U.S. concert tour with the top 10 finalists. During the tour, however, Bo underwent emergency intestinal surgery. He was able to rejoin the group for their final performance, which was staged to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. At the show, Bo debuted "We Can't Change This World," a song he was inspired to write after the hurricane struck. To help even more, Bo and his family, who had since moved to Nashville, invited a family from Louisiana to stay in their vacant home in Alabama.
In addition to Bo's busy career, he's had some big changes in his personal life. Last June, he married his hometown girlfriend and their first child was born in September. He says becoming a father has inspired his songwriting.
"Every emotion comes through and bleeds through," he said. "I've already written a song for Aiden and I play it for him sometimes. So, it's just the coolest. It's called 'When I See You Smile' and it pretty much sums it up. Every time I see him smile, it melts me."