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Failed Idol Hits Big Time

Chris Daughtry is one of the biggest new names in rock music. It has been a hard and surprising climb. A year ago, he was voted off the American Idol TV talent contest and seemed to be just another failed contestant. But Daughtry was just getting started. He went on to form his own band and create a debut CD that has already sold over three million copies in the U.S. VOA's Larry London recently sat down with Chris to talk about his quick rise to success.

It has been an incredible year for Chris Daughtry. His debut album is the top seller of 2007 and his live shows are garnering rave reviews. Now his band, Daughtry, is on tour with the Canadian rock band Nickleback. But the rising star did not always think he was going to be a rock star.

"I wanted to become a comic artist,” says Daughtry. “I was in every possible art class through high school you could do. When I (finally) got into music, I knew that's the thing I wanted to do."

It was Daughtry's wife Deanna who encouraged him to audition for American Idol.

"She was the one who talked me into it. She wanted me to do it for years. I was, like, 'I'm going to do this and see what happens.'"

Chris Daughtry's current hit, "Home", was written before he produced his debut album. It became so popular it was played on American Idol this season whenever contestants got voted off the show. Its success was a surprise to him.

"It just started playing on random radio stations without us knowing about it, and people just started calling in requests on it. And we said, 'Wow, what do you do now?' Obviously, they want it ? Give them what they want!"

Chris named his band "Daughtry" as an expression of his confidence in his talent to write and sing his own songs.

"I never was [thinking], 'Well, that person is successful. Maybe if I do a song that they did ?' I never wanted to do that. I know who I am. I've been doing this since I was 16 years old. I'm going to go out there and show everyone who I am. If people like it, they know why. And if people don't like it, they also know why. I am who I am."