David Cook is a rock-oriented, post-grunge vocalist and performer best known for winning the seventh season of American Idol.

Cook was raised in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he took an interest in performing from a young age, singing in various school concerts and appearing in school drama productions. As a junior in high school, Cook formed the band Axium, with which he performed throughout college and released two independently produced albums. After college, Cook moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he worked as a bartender and performed with the band the Midwest Kings.

Cook auditioned for American Idol in 2008, singing Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and was immediately accepted into the Hollywood Round. Cook found success on the show through accompanying himself on the guitar, as well as through his adaptations of popular R&B songs into post-grunge arrangements. During the 2008 finale of American Idol, Cook performed against the also popular David Archuleta, whom he beat with 56 percent of the final vote. Two weeks after the competition ended, Cook saw 11 of his songs enter the Billboard Hot 100.

Cook’s eponymous full-length debut was released in 2008, and went certified platinum in 2009. His second album, This Loud Morning, debuted at seven on the Billboard Top 200, and featured co-writers Ryan Tedder and Johnny Rzeznik. After leaving RCA, Cook joined XIX recordings and released the 2013 single “Laying Me Low,” a smash hit.

Cook went on to create his own label, Analog Heart Music, through which he released Digital Vein in 2015. In 2016, Cook returned to American Idol to mentor semifinalists C.J. Johnson and Olivia Rox. He released his second EP, Chromance, in 2018, which reached Top Five in the Billboard Indie chart. Cook performs regularly, and is often booked for private parties and corporate entertainment events.