WASHINGTON -- The hit TV show "American Idol" has helped launch some of the biggest names in music.
This season it introduced the world to Colton Dixon, a Christian artist who stayed true to his faith on the show despite pressure to tone it down.
From Normal to 'Idol'
Four months ago Dixon was just, as he describes it, "a normal kid" from Tennessee. On Saturday he was CBN News' special guest at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
When asked about his newfound fame he shook his head and called it "crazy."
"I couldn't sing until I was 13 years old. Honest to God, I didn't have a voice, but He gave me a voice at a piano recital," Dixon recalled.
"It was out of nowhere," he continued. "And the preacher that Sunday said, 'You know, sometimes God calls you to things in unexpected areas and things you least expect. But it's obvious whenever He does.' And it just kind of hit home and I said, okay, this is what I'm called to do."
"American Idol" allowed Dixon share his passion for Jesus Christ with 20 million viewers, week after week. He said the show helped him sharpen his craft, but also presented unimaginable temptations.
"Before and after every performance. Phillip and I made sure to pray with one another," Colton shared. "And it was the coolest thing, you know, just getting our minds in the right place and calming us down and just shooing the nerves away."
Coltons fans have an easy time finding him, thanks to his signature hairstyle.
"I always liked to be different," Colton explained. "I went to a private Church of Christ high school interestingly enough and the hair rules were 'keep your hair trimmed above your eyes, ears, and shirt collar,' so I went up with it."
"And what could they say? I mean it won't move; it's not ever going to fall so ..." he said. "But I always used to push buttons in high school just because I was edgy."
'Everthing' Performance Wows Judges
His edginess and talent won him favor with the Idol judges.
"I'll never forget when I did 'Everything' by Lifehouse," he recalled. "Just looking at them and knowing that they weren't critiquing a performance, they were, you know, whatever it was in their heads, they were in worship. You know, I was in worship."
"I wasn't singing to them or anyone in the audience," he told CBN News. "It was totally a connection between me and God on stage -- especially the last time I sang it. The world was completely shut off -- and that's the way it's supposed to be."
"But it was very cool to see that the judges not only realized that, but they were with me on that," Dixon said.
Dixon told CBN News that he'll be recording an album this year. He said he wants his music to create an atmosphere of worship for his fans.
"It's a ministry first for me," he explained. "You know, if I can throw a show for five people and have one person come to Christ through it, so be it. You know, that's what it's about for me."
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