- 01:16 AM, Feb 08
Michael Johns was born as Michael John Lee in Perth, Australia on October 20, 1978. Since he was just a teenager, Michael had been involved in several plays in local theaters. He portrayed The Coachman in "Pinocchio" at Regal Theater and served as a choir singer in "Anything Goes" at His Majesty's Theater.
In 1998, Michael moved to United States and lived in Atlanta, Georgia. He studied drama in Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. In between his spare time, he managed to make live performances at some local venues in the state. At that time, he used Michael Lee as his stage name and released an indie mini album with a local band called Film.
Three years later, he showcased his talent for a number of labels in Los Angeles and was signed to Maverick Records. He made new friends with some musicians there and formed a band called The Rising. Along with his bandmates, he toured nationally and performed in several TV shows. He also released an album titled "Future Unknown", but the record did not go on digital sale until he was picked up as "American Idol" finalist in 2007.
Michael was 28 years old when he auditioned for the Idol at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium in late July 2007. Throughout his Idol performances, he was praised as one of the finalists who had amazing talent. He sang the rendition of hit singles from such big singers as The Beatles, Dolly Parton and Queen during his participation in the reality singing contest. Michael was sent home in the eighth week of Idol, shocking fans and music critics. Prior to his elimination, he was never in the bottom 3. His last song as the Idol competitor was "Dream On", a song which was once made famous by Aerosmith.
After graduating from Idol, Michael received many offers from record labels but he refused to sign any deal before his album was finished. "I never entertained even signing a deal with anyone till my record was complete. I had an absolute vision of what I wanted this record to sound like and I didn't want anyone looking over my shoulder AnR'n it. I took a risk and backed what we were doing and trusted that if we made a great record then we could find a great label to partner with. There were a few that came to the table