Jason Castro

Jason Castro Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Jason René Castro (born March 25, 1987) is an American acoustic/folk-pop/contemporary Christian singer-songwriter and was the fourth place finalist on the seventh season of American Idol. After Idol, he signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and his self-titled debut album was released on April 13, 2010.

Early years

Born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Rowlett, Texas, he currently resides in Rockwall, Texas. His parents, René and Betsy Castro, are Colombian, and he is the first person in his family to be born in the United States, followed by younger siblings Michael and Jackeline (Jackie), both of whom are singer-songwriters as well. Spanish was his first language as a child. Though he doesn't speak the language very often, he has considered making a Spanish album. Their father, René, is an architectural swimming pool designer and singer-songwriter.

He attended Rowlett High School where he was a left winger on his school's soccer team and an honor student. He received a 1340 out of 1600 on his SAT. Castro was a junior majoring in Construction Science at Texas A&M University in College Station on a full academic scholarship when he auditioned for American Idol.

Castro has sported dreadlocks since his senior year of high school.

Musical background

Castro grew up playing drums. He taught himself to play the guitar in college. He had no formal voice training before auditioning for American Idol and had previously sung only 5 times in public, mostly during church services.

Castro performed as a drummer with the rock band Charlemagne, which later became Keeping Lions. He has stated that his musical influences include Ray LaMontagne, Ben Harper, Bob Marley, Carlos Vives and Kirk Baxley.

Personal life

Castro was the love interest of Cheyenne Kimball on her MTV reality show, Cheyenne and was also featured in her music video for "Hanging On".

On October 31 on Halloween in 2009, Castro proposed to Mandy Mayhall, an alumna of the University of Oklahoma, a Kappa Kappa Gamma member and his girlfriend of a year and a half. Castro proposed to her at a tailgate party before the Oklahoma/Kansas State football game in Norman, Oklahoma. The two were dressed as Disney characters Belle and The Beast from the animated film Beauty and the Beast as their Halloween costumes. He proposed by writing on a pumpkin, "Marry me?" Castro and Mayhall began dating in 2008 when Castro's Idol stint began but first became friends in high school at Rowlett High School. Mayhall made a brief cameo in Castro's music video for "Let's Just Fall In Love Again."

Castro and Mayhall were married January 2, 2010, in his hometown near Dallas, TX, and reside in Dallas. Their firstborn, daughter Madeline Emilia Castro, was born August 28, 2011.

American Idol


Castro auditioned for American Idol in Dallas, Texas, singing the Ray LaMontagne version of the song "Crazy". He was not shown on the television series until the final 24 due to legal restrictions on the songs he chose to perform. During a March 17, 2008 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, judge Simon Cowell chose Castro early as one of his four favorites in the competition, along with David Cook, David Archuleta, and Brooke White. On April 12, Ryan Seacrest and the three judges appeared in Larry King Live, Larry King revealed the results of his website poll which asked "Whom do you want to win American Idol?" and said that Castro was in the lead.

Castro played the guitar during the Top 24 performance night when he sang "(What A Day For A Daydream)". He was also the first contestant to play the ukulele on the show. He played the instrument while singing Over The Rainbow, after learning to play it in less than a week. Castro also sang in three languages on American Idol, supplementing English songs with Spanish (a combination of Sting's "Fragile" and "Fragilidad" on March 25, 2008) and French (Paul McCartney's "Michelle" on March 12, 2008).

Before he was eliminated, Castro was in the bottom three only once. He was voted off the competition on May 7, 2008.


Castro's rendition of the song "Hallelujah," which he performed on American Idol, led to a surge of popularity for the Jeff Buckley cover of the Leonard Cohen song from the iTunes Store, propelling it to the number-one spot on the iTunes singles chart. Buckley's version of the song sold 178,000 digital downloads in the week following Castro's performance, to debut at number one on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart. According to the March 22, 2008, issue of Billboard, this was the highest boost in digital sales a song had ever received after being performed by a contestant on American Idol. It was the first time Buckley's version of the song charted on a Billboard chart, as well as the first U.S. number-one song on any chart for Buckley, who died May 29, 1997, at age 30. Jason Castro's rendition of the song propelled Jeff Buckley's version to be certified gold and platinum as a single on April 22, 2008.

Castro's version of the song "Hallelujah" briefly appeared in the number-one spot on the iTunes chart before it was removed due to the producers of American Idol not wanting any contestant to be favored.


A mix-up led to a sudden rise in donations for a West Michigan-based charity. The blog Castrocopia.com suggested that fans donate money to Castro's favorite charity. The former Castro fansite, Daydreamingboy.com, claimed Castro's charity was GLOW Ministries, a Christian group based in Zeeland, Michigan, that helps the poor in Haiti. Their website is usually quiet, but before long they had hits from 15 different countries with many online donations. "Before this we weren't really hearing from people online," said Snyder, "and didn't get a whole lot of contributions online." The problem was, Castro didn't even know about GLOW. Jason was referring to the GLOW 5K run in Texas, a charity from which money goes to various service agencies for children. Snyder said the mistake has brought a lot of money and attention to her cause. Castro stated he was glad the Zeeland nonprofit got some well-deserved donations.

Castro's father had been instrumental in starting a soccer ministry at Lake Pointe Church to reach out to the community. Jason played soccer in high school and has been to Russia three times with Higher Goal Soccer Ministry.

He has also done charity work during his university career. In 2007, he joined Aggie Men's Club, a fraternity organization.

On December 13, Castro performed alongside R&B singer Patti LaBelle for a Christmas concert in Garland, Texas, benefiting the Best Education Foundation, an organization that supports the city's school district. He also auctioned himself off for charity courtesy of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares. The bid ended on the 11th of December, earning $5,689 for the charity. The winner of the auction had a lunch date with Castro. On April 8, 2010, Jason was named the inaugural "Staying Alive" Ambassador for Malaria No More Foundation.


Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Top 24 (12 Men) 1960s "Daydream" The Lovin' Spoonful 11 Safe
Top 20 (10 Men) 1970s "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" Andy Gibb 2 Safe
Top 16 (8 Men) 1980s "Hallelujah" Leonard Cohen 7 Safe
Top 12 Lennon"McCartney "If I Fell" The Beatles 4 Safe
Top 11 The Beatles "Michelle" The Beatles 8 Safe
Top 10 Year They Were Born "Fragile" Sting 2 Bottom 3
Top 9 Dolly Parton "Travelin' Thru" Dolly Parton 4 Safe
Top 8 Inspirational Music "Over the Rainbow" Judy Garland 3 Safe
Top 7 Mariah Carey "I Don't Wanna Cry" Mariah Carey 7 Safe
Top 6 Andrew Lloyd Webber "Memory" Elaine Paige 2 Safe
Top 5 Neil Diamond "Forever in Blue Jeans"
"September Morn"
Neil Diamond 1
Top 4 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "I Shot the Sheriff"
"Mr. Tambourine Man"
Bob Marley
Bob Dylan

  • ^ Castro was the first person declared to be safe on this elimination night.

Post Idol

After his elimination Castro made appearances on Live with Regis and Kelly, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Sauce, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Access Hollywood, Today, Best Day Ever, Larry King Live, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet as well as dozens of local FOX television affiliates and numerous radio stations across the country. Castro has been the subject of articles in newspapers and magazines including People, Star Magazine, US, OK!, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Billboard.

Castro returned to the Idol stage for the season finale and was the only top-12 finalist who performed a solo. He sang "Hallelujah".

When he returned to his hometown of Rockwall, TX, Thursday, May 29, 2008, he had the experience of having the day declared "Jason Castro Day." Castro was honored with a parade and a ceremony/concert. He was presented with a key to the city by the mayor of Rockwall and a US flag that flew over the nation's capital by Texas congressman Ralph Hall. Castro also performed four songs for the crowd, including an original song that he had written. The parade and concert were estimated to have attracted close to 15,000 fans; it was the largest event in the city's history.

Castro completed the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008 with his fellow contestants during the summer. The tour ran from July 1, 2008, to September 13, 2008.

He recorded "Hallelujah" in Toronto, Canada, for the Mexican-Colombian indie film, Amar a Morir, which premiered in the spring of 2009. On November 3, Castro shot a homemade video of himself performing the song "Sweet Medicine," an original song of his. He put the video up on his YouTube account. Whether or not this song will be released on his upcoming album is not known. He recently took part in the "I Am Second" campaign and openly discussed his Christian faith.

Castro signed a management deal with Hard8Mgt, a firm that manages other musicians such as Jakob Dylan, Dashboard Confessional, Augustana and others.

On November 29, 2008, Castro performed a live concert with his band, The Heavy Steadies, at the Flytrap Music Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the concert included new songs from his album. On December 15, Castro released the Christmas song, "White Christmas" as a free download through Amazon.com as a gift for his fans. On December 24, 2008, Castro performed "White Christmas" at Lake Pointe Church's Christmas program. Castro performed the full version of "Hallelujah" at the world premiere of Amar a Morir on January 23 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

A download of the song "Love Uncompromised" and an appearance on Idol were both scheduled for March 3. Due to time constraints, both plans were canceled.

Castro helped co-write "Be Yourself Tonight" with Canadian singer Gerald Eaton for his brother Michael's self-titled debut EP.

On April 12, 2010, on Atlantic Records he released his self-titled album Jason Castro. He worked with songwriter, producer, and Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi and producer John Fields On the album he also worked with DioGuardi, Guy Chambers, Martin Terefe, Dave Lichens (a member of The Heavy Steadies), Jason Reeves, Sacha Skarbek and Espionage. Fellow Atlantic Records artist Serena Ryder appears with Castro on a duet titled "You Can Always Come Home," which Castro debuted at the Texas State Fair in a live performance, his sister Jackie in Ryder's place.

Castro sang "Over the Rainbow" and his second single "That's What I'm Here For" at the wedding of The Bachelor stars Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney on February 27, 2010, for ABC's taping of The Bachelor: Jason and Molly's Wedding.

Castro will perform in an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful. It is scheduled to air in July 2010.

The Texas-based singer/songwriter confirms his Christian faith in his new release called "Who I Am." Five of the tracks are favorites from Jason's debut record, while the others are original songs exploring life, love, and God. The first single, "You Are," is one Jason calls his "first love song to God." Castro also appeared in a testimonial video on I Am Second, in which he shares his story of his faith in Jesus Christ.

Debut album, EP, singles and promotion (2009-2010)

On August 18, 2009, Castro performed his new single "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" on a live video webchat from his website, as well another song titled "It Matters to Me." Castro's label, Atlantic Records, released presales of the album and offered the single as a free download to buyers. Castro's album was to be released in November 2009 but was pushed to an early 2010 release date. "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" entered Billboard's Heatseekers Songs chart at No. 15 and Hot Digital Songs at No. "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" was used by Overstock.com for a television commercial. 57. A music video for the single premiered on October 14, 2009. Castro released a debut EP in January 2010 titled The Love Uncompromised EP. The EP has sold more than 7,000 copies to date. Castro completed a tour with Matt Hires and Caitlin Crosby and traveled to Malaysia, Singapore, and The Philippines to promote his EP and album. He then toured a second time with band Camera Can't Lie and his younger brother Michael as his opening acts to promote his album.

Only a Mountain (2012-present)

Castro released a five song EP on August 28, 2012. Castro's new album Only a Mountain will be released on January 15, 2013.

Band members

A large audition was held during the fall of 2009 in Hollywood, California, for Castro's band. The band played their first live show together on September 25, 2009, when they headlined the opening night of the Texas State Fair. His band members are as follows:

  • Stephen Kanicka (Lead guitar, vocals)
  • Jordan Critz (Keys, rhythm guitar, vocals)
  • Ben Davis (Bass, vocals)
  • Jason Dering (Drums)



Year Album details Peak positions Sales
2010 Jason Castro
  • Released: April 13, 2010
  • Label: Atlantic Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • US: 54,000
Who I Am
  • Released: November 9, 2010
  • Label: Atlantic Records/Word
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • US: 18,000
2012 Only a Mountain
  • Released: January 15, 2013
  • Label: Word
  • Format: CD, digital download


Year Album details Peak positions Sales
2010 The Love Uncompromised EP
  • Released: January 2010
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Format: Extended play, digital download
  • US sales: 13,000
Who I Am EP
  • Released: November 9, 2010
  • Label: Word
  • Format: Extended play, digital download
Changing Colors: Live From Studio 1290
  • Released: November 9, 2010
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Format: Extended play, digital download
2012 Starting Line
  • Released: August 28, 2012
  • Label: Word
  • Format: Extended play, digital download
  • US sales: 2,000


Year Single Peak Album
Christ AC
2008 "White Christmas" Non-album single
2009 "Let's Just Fall in Love Again" 113 94 The Love Uncompromised EP
2010 "That's What I'm Here For" 121 17 Jason Castro
"Over the Rainbow"
"You Are" 84 11 20 Who I Am
2012 "Only a Mountain" 27 29 Only a Mountain
""?" denotes releases that did not chart

Other releases

iTunes Exclusive "American Idol Live Performances"

  1. "Daydream"
  2. "I Just Want To Be Your Everything"
  3. "Hallelujah"
iTunes Exclusive "American Idol Studio Performances"1

  1. "If I Fell"
  2. "Michelle"
  3. "Fragile"
  4. "Travelin' Thru"
  5. "Over The Rainbow"
  6. "I Don't Wanna Cry"
  7. "Memory"
  8. "Forever In Blue Jeans"
  9. "Mr. Tambourine Man"
Demos and live recordings (pre-Idol songs)

  1. "The Other Side"
  2. "Someday" (with Jackie Castro)
  3. "A Song About Stars"
  4. "So Fast"
  5. "I'm Not Who I Was"
  6. "Crazy" (live)
  7. "Santeria" (live)
  8. "Clumsy" (live)

  • "Hallelujah", Amar a Morir soundtrack

This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jason Castro (singer)". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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