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Elliott Yamin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (77) | Personal Quotes (35)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 20 July 1978Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameEfraym Elliott Yamin
Nicknames E-Dub
The Machine
E-Double
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Elliott Yamin was born on July 20, 1978 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Efraym Elliott Yamin.

Trade Mark (2)

Curly hair
His voice

Trivia (77)

As a child, he suffered from allergies to grass and pollen. Yamin is 90% deaf in his right ear, which he mentioned in the third round of the semi-finals.
When he was eleven years old, he moved to Richmond, Virginia.
At the age of seventeen, Yamin was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and has to wear an insulin pump.
He began singing at the age of five and he has had no formal vocal training.
Made the top 3 on "American Idol: The Search for a Super Star"
He is 90% deaf in one ear.
At the American Idol finale, sang "A House Is Not a Home" in the Burt Bacharach medley and U2's "One" with Mary J. Blige.
Favorite film: Coming to America (which featured choreography by Paula Abdul)
Like winner Taylor Hicks, originally planned to audition in Memphis but couldn't due to Hurricane Katrina. Instead, drove to Boston for 11 1/2 hours and was the second to last person heard by the judges.
Loves to play basketball and work out
When the Top 24 was revealed, Pinnaclesports.com gave his chances of winning at last with 65-1, tying him with 8 other contenders. When it was down to 8, Entertainment Weekly gave him 12-1 odds of winning ahead of only Bucky and Ace. When it was down to three, the magazine gave him 6-1 odds.
His mother Claudette began singing at 12 doing blues and standards in hotels, clubs and steakhouses with orchestra leader Ray McKinley.
Was born with severe allergies to trees, grass and pollen.
Would most love to duet and write an original song with Stevie Wonder.
The one superpower he'd love to have? The ability to fly.
His favorite reality show, other than Idol, is The Amazing Race.
The first album he bought with his own money: Whitney Houston's self-titled debut.
His audition number for the judges in Boston was 19991.
On AmericanIdol.com's Top 20 highest-rated performances of season 5, Elliott got the most with 9. Behind him was Taylor with 7.
As of May 30, an AOL poll placed Elliott 5th on the "Best Idol of All Time" list. Taylor Hicks tied for 3rd while Katharine McPhee tied for 6th.
When it was down to 5, a poll at MSNBC.com asked who should win American Idol. Elliott had the most with 30% while Katharine came in second with 28%.
For the July 29th stop of the American Idol tour in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, 9,000 tickets sold out in under 15 minutes, besting the tour led 3 years prior by Ruben, Clay and Kimberley. That averages out to 10 tickets per second.
Used to turn out the lights to sing in front of friends.
Played basketball with Anthony Fedorov, last year's 3rd runner-up, on Easter Sunday 2006.
Results from an online poll at PBSKids.org tabulated 50,110 votes as of June 19th, 2006 asking who should have won American Idol. Chris Daughtry came in 1st, but Elliott was next by a difference 2%.
Results from another online poll at AOL put Elliott at #1 for person that should've won American Idol in this year at 40%. Katharine was next with 37%.
Fans of Elliott Yamin are known as Yaminions, the E-Train, FOEs (Friends of Elliott), Yamin Fiends and/or the Yamin Machine!
The July 2006 issue of Richmond Magazine, which featured Elliott wearing a shirt with the number 3 on it, sold 144,000 copies in 4 days. Normally, the magazine sells 31,000 copies in a monthly period.
His version of "Moody's Mood for Love" is #73 on Billboard's US Pop Chart, #76 on US Digital, #53 on iTunes' Top 100 Songs and #1 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 as of early July 2006
Sang background on three tracks for Big Planz's gospel rap CD Sound Doctrine in 2004. Once word got out in 2006 that Elliott sang back up, Big's site got 7000 hits in 3 days and in 24 hours, its sales-ranking on Amazon.com went from 505000 to 1300.
Occasionally sat in with a jazz/funk band called Big Pat & Legion in Richmond.
Fronted a reggae outfit known as the Razor Posse at the Bob Marley Festival in Richmond's Chimborazo Park singing "Waiting In Vain".
20,459 people were at the American Airlines Center in Dallas when Elliott sang the National Anthem for game 2 of the NBA finals on June 11, 2006, which is exactly the day American Idol premiered on Fox in 2002.
Held 43 different jobs before auditioning for American Idol, including 6 years at Foot Locker, collections, customer service, retail, landscaping, vinyl-siding installation, part-time deejay for Power 92 and counter clerk at Westbury Pharmacy.
His mentor's grandmother passed away the night he made the Top 12.
At the age of 5, Elliott would walk outside his family home in Pasadena carrying a boombox blasting the sounds of Itzhak Perlman.
Earned his GED in 1997 at the Virginia Randolph Education Center while working at Foot Locker.
Tried to be a vegetarian at the age of 8.
Was born the day after his father got his green card at 12:15 a.m.
Spent about 15 hours, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., waiting to audition for Randy, Paula and Simon in Boston.
Was one of the nearly 19,000 people who auditioned in Boston for the fifth season of American Idol.
His free dental makeover in Beverly Hills took 20 hours and would normally cost $20,000.
The song he sang to win $1,000 for Richmond Idol was Brian McKnight's "One Last Cry".
His debut CD was written and produced with Stargate (Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Rihanna), Josh Abraham (Pink, Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars), DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit, Evanescence, LP), Michael Mangini (Joss Stone, Baha Men, David Byrne) and Derek Bramble (David Bowie, Vanessa Williams, Lalah Hathaway).
The song "Movin On" was previewed on AOL's First Listen Program, which landed it on AOL Music's home page throughout Grammy weekend. Hundreds of thousands of visitors listened, many of whom posted rave reviews.
Video for "Wait For You" placed number #19 on VH1's Top 40 Videos of 2007.
Has a Shih Tzu named Buster.
Is allergic to cats.
Sometimes wishes he sung "Ribbon In the Sky" instead of "Knocks Me Off My Feet" during Stevie Wonder week. He has admitted to not doing the song justice even though Simon thought it was the best performance after Ace and Kellie.
Is the first American Idol contestant to do an autograph signing at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square.
Recorded "Real Love" with Katharine McPhee in an hour.
Was scheduled to sing the National Anthem and "God Bless America" at the Washington Nationals' new stadium in D.C. on opening night (March 31st, 2008), the day his mother died. He was replaced by Denyce Graves.
He continued his North America tour in the fall, again with Josh Hoge opening and adding the rock band The Last Goodnight. Drummer Glen Sobel replaced Felix Bloxsom in Yamin's band, and fellow American Idol 5 alumnus José "Sway" Penala was added to provide backing vocals. The tour kicked off on October 5 in Chicago and ended on November 26 in Washington, DC.
On December 1, 2007, Yamin performed at the Live & Loud 07 Music Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was the opening act for one of his personal idols, Whitney Houston. They didn't meet.
Travelled to the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland and Germany to entertain service members as part of a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour from February 12th to the 21st in 2008.
Performed "Wait for You" at the 25th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 9, 2008, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. The song was honored as one of the most performed songs in the ASCAP repertory during 2007.
Went to Japan for a 5-day promotion tour in March 24th, 2008. His debut album is scheduled to be released in Japan on May 21, 2008, by Avex International; the Japan version has been retitled Wait for You.
Favorite song is "Moody's Mood For Love" by James Moody. Elliott recorded this song on the American Idols Season 5: Encores CD.
Jewish-American.
Song "Fight for Love" was originally offered to Leona Lewis.
Him, Danny Gokey, and Casey James are the only male contestants to finish third on American Idol.
Sang the National Anthem at Game 2 of the NBA finals wearing a Dirk Nowitzki jersey. MSNBC called it "the Highlight Moment" of the game. [June 2006]
Sang "What's Going On?" by Marvin Gaye and "This Christmas" as well as the National Anthem again at the 2006 Genworth Children's Advantage Classic (sponsored by the Genworth Foundation) at the Alltel Pavilion at the Virginia Commonwealth University's Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond. He sang between an Andre Agassi/Steffi Graf vs. Lindsay Davenport/James Blake doubles match and an Agassi/Blake singles match. He later got a photo op with Andre. [December 2006]
USO Tour from the 11th to the 21st and Weinstein JCC in Richmond, Virginia on the 23rd [February 2008]
Preparing for the American Idols tour from July to September. Afterwards, he'll start recording an R&B album in the fall. No release date scheduled or label announced but Simon Cowell said it should be out by year's end. [June 2006]
Appeared in People magazine for getting a dental makeover with veneers. The article also revealed he's signed to Sony Records. [December 2006]
Doing charity work in Angola, Africa from the 2nd to the 9th [March 2008]
"Hope For a Cure" Gala, sponsored by JDRF in Atlanta, Georgia at 7pm on the 26th. [April 2008]
The video for his first big hit "Wait for You" placed at #19 on VH1's Top 40 Countdown for 2007. After his USO tour, will return to the studio for his second CD due in the summer 2008. [December 2007]
Released his rendition of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas" on AOL Music, iTunes.com and his MySpace page. [December 2006]
Edison Field in Anahiem, CA for the Angels' Opening Night at 7pm PST on the 4th. [April 2008]
Sang at the Genworth Financial tennis tournament and met Andre Agassi. [December 2006]
Scheduled to sing as the closing act at the Virginia State Fair. A sold-out crowd is expected. This makes him the first singer from American Idol's fifth season to have a solo concert. [October 2006]
Sang the National Anthem again at Dodger Stadium in L.A. and cut the ribbon for a diabetes walk during JDRF International Walk to Cure Diabetes [October 2006]
Will release his self-titled debut album on March 20 through Hickory Records via RED Distribution. He worked closely with music publisher, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, on writing and production and both parties will work on the marketing. [January 2007]
Doing the 'American Idol Live Tour' It will span from the 5th of July till mid September. All the 'American Idol season 5' Top 10 will be there. [July 2006]
"Idol Gives Back" and the ASCAP Awards at the Kodak Theater on the 9th. [April 2008]

Personal Quotes (35)

On his singing ability in spite of his allergies, diabetes and hearing loss: "I don't know how to explain it, because I'm not a religious person. It's a gift."
I've always wanted to pursue a music career, but I didn't dedicate the time and effort.
When asked what he'd do if he didn't make it on American Idol: "Do whatever I've always done...Survive! Of course, I'd still pursue a career in music."
Personal goals: "To help educate young people about music and diabetes. I want to be an inspiration to others. I want to be a great Dad someday...I want to meet Magic Johnson and have a floor seat at a Lakers game.
On his American Idol: "My mom - she's overcome a lot of adverse situations. She's a very strong-willed woman!"
Most embarrassing moment: "My first Hollywood Round Auditions - I forgot the lyrics to the beginning of my song! I thought I was going home for sure."
Other talents he'd like to have: "I'd love to be able to play the guitar and piano. I'd like to be taller, just so I can dunk a basketball!"
Before Idol, I was lost.... Now, I've actually followed through with something. I am a better man for it!
On Paula Abdul: "She has a big heart, like I do."
I was always loud, interrupting my mom on the phone or my brother doing his homework. I would annoy everybody.
I had dreamed of tapping into American Idol for years, but I'd gotten sucked into the reality of the daily grind.
On singing the National Anthem at game 2 of the NBA Finals -- "First of all, I looked like a fool when I walked out there. I didn't want to mispronounce anything or get nervous."
On auditioning for Idol in Boston's Gillette Stadium -- "The tents were really close together. Lucky my bad ear was next to the person in the next tent who was singing very loud and very bad."
On first hearing Donny Hathaway's music in the seventh grade -- "His voice spoke to me. I had never heard anything like it before. I was so fortunate to be exposed to him at that age."
On what his friends thought about him before auditioning-- "They had more faith in me than I did. I've always been so critical of my own sound. I didn't think it sounded so good."
On his decision to audition for American Idol: "My friends kept saying I had nothing to lose and I really didn't. I was at a point in my life where I had no direction. I was just scraping by at my job. I thought, I'm 27 years old and what do I have to show for it? I was lost. Deep down inside, I wondered if by trying out, I could somehow put myself on a path to something I'd always longed for but never admitted to anyone."
On coping with sudden fame: "A lot of young people with diabetes have said I've given them hope and made them believe in the power of music. They've told me how they've struggled and gone through difficult changes in their lives, and that seeing how I was able to achieve something through Idol has inspired them to go for what they want. It's amazing to me that I've played that role in someone's life."
On making his debut CD: "I'm a baby in this game and I'm not afraid to admit it. Collaborating on the songs with these talented people who've been involved in music way longer than me and who share my passion for it has been an incredible experience. I've learned so much from them as an artist and as a person. The key to writing is to come from the heart. People relate to real feelings."
On the single "Wait For You": "A ballad about a man losing the woman he loves but hoping she will come back someday and vowing to wait for her until she does."
My mom was always supportive, but she didn't try to push me. She knew I hated to be the center of attention and she respected that.
On describing his debut CD: "The album is very eclectic with bluesy elements and some pop/R&B, club bangers with hip-hop beats and very heartfelt ballads."
On talking about American Idol for the rest of his life: I've accepted it. I know I'll be forever synonymous with those two words. But so what? I knew what I was getting myself into. I didn't know the magnitude of how big it was, but I'll talk about until I'm blue in the face. So many doors have opened because of it. Now, I get to do what I love everyday.
My dad's Isreali. He was born in Baghdad to Iraqi Jews. Then, at age two, his parents wanted to move to their homeland and he grew up in Israel. I've been there twice, once as a baby and once when I was 15.
On his season's talent: I think it was the best so far, and I'm not being biased. That seems to be the general consensus from everybody; this year wasn't as good as last year. It's cool to be part of that alumni.
On why he didn't sign with 19 Management: I felt they weren't going to pick me up on the management side or the record company side, so I called Simon Fuller personally and I said 'I appreciate everything you've done. I've gotten amazing opportunities.' I thanked him and told him what a great time I had on the show, then I said 'I'd like to cede the deal with 19 Entertainment.' And he said 'That's cool, just don't put out a record before Kat, Taylor or Chris.' I was, like, 'No problem, I'll take my time.' That was that. I wasn't like, 'That's fucked up, why didn't they pick me?' I was more relieved. They were trying to manage a lot of people at one time and they didn't indicate that in the future, away from Idol, they'd give me a hundred percent of the attention that I need. It wasn't the right fit.
The only thing that's really changed is the amount of time I get to spend with them, which isn't very much. But that actually makes the time we spend together more precious. It's tough, but everybody understands and they are so supportive.
I would absolutely love to be a father someday. But not for a long time... And I will definitely introduce my children to music. I think that's such an important part of life! But I will never force it. I will support my child in whatever it is he or she chooses to do...just like my parents did.
Growing up, I can remember singing along with my Ma all of the time. I wouldn't say she necessarily "taught" me how to sing, but she was definitely the first person to inspire me to sing and the first to intrigue me vocally. I've always had a natural ear for music though.
To me, obstacles in life build character. You have to be able to overcome adversity in order to succeed and appreciate the simple things life has to offer...that's where most of my inspiration for writing and singing comes from.
I often wish I had formal training...and I will, as soon as I have the time. It actually took me a long time to realize that what I have is truly a gift, and for me to continue on without using my gift would be a sin. Before American Idol, I was always shy and afraid to use my voice/talent. The exposure gave me so much more confidence than I'd ever imagined possible.
I don't want to be the type to say it's me or nothing. I'm not afraid to sing other people's songs. Not to discredit myself, but I'm not a polished writer yet. I definitely want to write a lot more for this next album and learn,
On Randy Jackson: He let me listen to some of the early cuts on the record, the one with the Tabernacle Choir ['I Understand,' with Bebe Winans, Kim Burrell, Rance Allen, Mariah Carey and Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir], which is amazing. He's got a great ear. . . . He's always hitting me up on my BlackBerry. I definitely think I'm going to do a couple of tracks with him on my next project.
I've kept in touch with Randy since the show, and he's always expressed interest in working with me and vice versa. I didn't know how dope he was as a producer. And when I was rehearsing for my first leg of the tour in L.A., he called me up and said, 'Is now a good time [to record something]?' So we hooked up,
There are two songs that I wasn't involved in writing. One is the single, "Fight For Love," which I heard was originally offered to Leona Lewis. I don't know what happened, but she didn't get it and I did, so I put my foot all up in it and the rest of history. It's a great song, and there's so much junk and shit trash on the radio now. The landscape of radio has totally changed for the worse since my first promotional tour. I've been out for five weeks going door-to-door at radio, something very few artists do anymore in the pop world, but it's so much tougher this time around. Everybody's walking around like their days are numbered and a lot of the programmers that showed me early love the first time around aren't even there anymore because they got laid off. People don't have interns anymore; when we hit the stations for these ass-crack-of-dawn radio shows, you have to wait for [the jocks] to take their commercial break so they can come let you in. Everybody's understaffed and there's less airtime to play with.
It was kind of tough to talk about how I felt, because her death (his mother) was fresh in my mind and I was still mourning. But I sort of threw all of my emotions out there and with that, just started writing how I was feeling at the time, which anyone who's lost somebody can relate to. Every time I play it for someone, there's not a dry eye in the house. I'm really proud of it.

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