Jon Peter Lewis

Jon Peter Lewis Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Jon Peter Lewis (born November 7, 1979, Lincoln, Nebraska) is an American singer and songwriter, and was one of the finalists on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol. He would frequently be referred to by the judges and Ryan Seacrest as simply JPL.


Lewis lived in various cities across the United States with his roving family before leaving home at the age of 18. He graduated from Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1998. He starred in the lead role of Thorin Oakenshield in a local children theater's production of The Hobbit in the summer of 1997. Lewis performed in other numerous theatrical productions and was a band member of various rock and roll bands throughout his high school and college years.

American Idol

At the age of 23, Lewis cashed in his college loans to audition for the third season of American Idol in Honolulu, Hawaii where he sang '"Crazy Love" by Van Morrison. Praised by Simon Cowell for his "very, very good voice," Lewis went on to display an uninhibited stage personality that won the hearts of millions of Idol fans. Simon Cowell later hailed Jon as "the dark horse to win the competition," and Rolling Stone magazine pegged Jon as a "pick to win," while Elton John praised Lewis's voice for his "excellent pitch and phrasing."

Affectionately known as 'JPL' by his fans, Lewis was a member of the third group of semifinalists and performed the Elton John song "Tiny Dancer". After performing "A Little Less Conversation" in the wild card round, Lewis was put through as a finalist by audience vote, receiving 22% of all votes cast.

On April 15, 2004, Lewis was voted off in eighth place after a flashy rendition of "Jailhouse Rock" during movie songs week. During the competition, he had displayed a three-octave vocal range and developed a strong fan following. As part of the Top 10, Lewis participated in the 50-city American Idols Live tour in the summer of 2004.

American Idol Performances

Week Theme Song Artist Order Status
Semifinal Group #3 Contestant's Choice "Tiny Dancer" Elton John 4 Eliminated
Wild Card Contestant's Choice "A Little Less Conversation" Elvis Presley 1 Selected
By Public
Top 12 Soul Music "Drift Away" Dobie Gray 5 Safe
Top 11 Country Music "She Believes in Me" Kenny Rogers 7 Safe
Top 10 Motown Music "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" The Isley Brothers 2 Safe
Top 9 Elton John "Rocket Man" Elton John 2 Safe
Top 8 Movie Soundtracks "Jailhouse Rock" - Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley 3 Eliminated


Rather than accepting business offers to use his "Idol" fame to release a quick pop album, Lewis decided to work on his own musical style and create original music. From late 2004 to 2006, Lewis spent the majority of his time composing original music working closely with music producer Alex Gibson of Henson Recording Studios, among other notable entities in Hollywood. "Turn to Grey" was among the first songs that he wrote; he composed it while on tour with the Idol finalists. Jon recorded part of the song as a homage to Jennifer Hudson after she told him that she loved singing the song around her house.

In 2005, he collaborated with Canadian songwriter/actor James Collins to write and record "It's Christmas," which was released by EMI/Universal in Canada as part of the "Now Christmas 2" album, and went to number thirteen on the Canadian radio charts in two weeks. In addition, a second original holiday song "California Christmas" was recorded by Jon and released in 2006 for the album Breaking for the Holidays by Breaking Records. The upbeat holiday song was called a "Christmas Classic" by Chuck Taylor of Billboard magazine.

In September 2006, Lewis released his second single containing the songs "If I Go Away" and "Man Like Me" through his independent label, Cockaroo Entertainment. His limited release debut album, Stories from Hollywood, was released on his 27th birthday, November 7, 2006, making Jon the first Idol finalist to independently release an album of original songs. The album is a collection of energetic rock and roll and intimate acoustic tracks.

Jon's second full-length album, Break the Silence, hit the streets July 22, 2008. The album was released through Cockaroo Entertainment in conjunction with Adrenaline Music Group. Chris Garcia, who has worked with Santana and Michelle Branch, Dido and Jewel, produced the album under the guidance of executive producer Don Grierson, a former head of A&R for Capitol and Epic Records involved with Bob Seger, Heart, Duran Duran, Cheap Trick, Celine Dion and Tina Turner. Jon wrote or co-wrote several tracks for the album, and it features such esteemed musicians as guitarist Nick Lashley (Alanis Morissette, Natasha Bedingfield), drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Cougar Mellencamp, Indigo Girls) and Blake Mills (Jakob Dylan, Band of Horses.) The CD has received critical praise including a "Critic's Choice" review from Billboard magazine. It was called "one of the best pop/rock CD's of the year" by Monica Rizzo of People magazine and "Impressive" by Ken Barnes of USA Today. The title track single, hit the top 30 charts on Hot AC radio and in November 2008 was 1 of only 50 songs pre-programmed into all of the new iPhones on display at Apple Stores and AT&T stores across the country. Jon went on to release a self-titled EP in February 2010.

In 2009, Lewis launched an Internet show titled American Nobody. The quirky program takes an inside look at the music business as well as a tongue-in-cheek view of pop culture. The show received early critical praise. American Nobody was added to TV Guide's "Hot Web List" and the Los Angeles Times called it "the most brilliant and biting satire of Idoldom ever written."

In 2010, Lewis produced and starred in the original folk opera, Deep Love. The production, co-written by Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood, debuted in Idaho in October 2010 and garnered support, which positioned the show into a multi-city theatrical event.

Lewis has been a contributor to MTV, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and AOL Entertainment.



  • "Turn to Grey" download single. Blues-funk. (2004)
  • "Stories From Hollywood" download single. Alternative rock. (2005)
  • "It's Christmas" single peaked at number thirteen on Canada's Top 50 Pop Adult BDS chart (2005)
  • "If I Go Away/ Man Like Me" double-sided single. Alternative rock and pop. (Cockaroo Entertainment) (2006)
  • "Crazy Love" (2010)


  • "American Idol Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics". JPL covers "My Girl" and joins in the Season 3 American Idol Finalists' ensemble cover of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". (2004)
  • "Now Christmas 2" compilation album. JPL contributed the pop song, "It's Christmas," which went up to No. 13 on Canadian radio charts. Album released in Canada. (EMI) (2005)
  • "Breaking for the Holidays" compilation album. JPL contributed the harmonic pop song, "California Christmas." (Breaking Records) (2006)
  • Stories from Hollywood album of original music released November 7, 2006. Alternative rock, soul, and pop.
  • Break the Silence. July 22, 2008. Full-length album released through Cockaroo Entertainment in conjunction with Adrenaline Music Group.
  • Jon Peter Lewis (EP) - 2010

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