"Christopher Ruben Studdard", also known as "Ruben Studdard", (born September 12, 1978) is a well-known American pop/R&B/gospel singer and character actor who rose to fame as winner of the second season of the ''American Idol'' television program, beating out Clay Aiken.
Studdard, the youngest son of two teachers, sang for the first time at the Rising Star Baptist Church in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama at the age of three. He continued singing gospel in church, performing solos as a child while his mother sang in the local choir. While at Huffman High School, he played football and received a scholarship in that sport to Alabama A&M University.
After growing up listening to his mother's Donny Hathaway albums, Fred Hammond, and gospel music, Studdard began to pursue a career in the music industry, majoring in voice studies at Alabama A&M, graduating in 2000. A backup singer from Just A Few Cats, a popular local Birmingham jazz and R&B band with whom Studdard sang, asked him to accompany her to Nashville, Tennessee for an audition on the second season of Fox Broadcasting Company's ''American Idol''.
When auditioning, Studdard sang Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon...
|Born||September 12, 1978|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues|
|Associated acts||Luther Vandross, Donny Hathaway|