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DeWyzes career received a big boost in 2010, when he began competing in American Idol at the age of 23. In a competition filled with guitar-playing vocalists, DeWyze managed to stand out from the pack with his smart song choices, eventually beating second-place rival Crystal Bowersox and taking home the Idol crown on May 26, 2010. His debut single, a cover of U2's "Beautiful Day," was released in conjunction with his win, and a full-length album, Live It Up, arrived later that year.
Live It Up debuted on the Billboard charts at 19 and failed to gain much traction despite DeWyze supporting it with a headlining tour. In October, 2011 RCA decided not to exercise their option to DeWyze's recording contract. As the singer/songwriter worked on new material, a collection of old recordings called What Once Was was released in 2012; it contained outtakes from his first two independent albums, 2007's So I'm Told and 2010's Slumberland. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi