Long before he was crowned the winner of "American Idol" season 11, Phillip Phillips worked behind the counter in his father's pawn shop. He was born Phillip LaDon Phillips, Jr. on September 20, 1990 in Leesburg, Georgia to Phillip Phillips Sr. and Sheryl. He grew up in the town and attended the Lee County High School.
After completing his course at the Albany Technical College with a major in Industrial Systems Technology, Phillips tried auditioning for "Idol" in Savannah, Georgia. He made a good first impression with the judges through his unique rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition". With his guitar strapped on, Phillips answered the judges' demand to perform another song. This time, he played Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and immediately got the golden ticket.
Phillips went from competing thousands to hundreds to just 25 in the semi final. He had a slight health issue after the Top 13 performance night, visiting doctor for his kidney problem. Apparently all his family has had a history of the illness. "I've had them. Where we live at is like the kidney stone capital of the world. It's in the water," the singer's father said.
A surgical procedure was done to put a stent in his kidney. He fought through the tight schedule on "Idol", missed some non-stage events, and eventually beat Jessica Sanchez in the finale on May 23, 2012. His coronation song "Home" was released after his performance. He became the first "Idol" winner to have his coronation single on the Top 10 of the Hot 100 chart in four years.
Phillips had a major surgery to remove his kidney stones on June 6, 2012. He was prepared to go on the annual "Idol" tour the next month and for the release of his debut album. Speaking of his first effort, Phillips said, "Kind of like jazz and rock, that sort of stuff. I'm really excited to get it out there - it's going to be cool."