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DAVID ARCHULETA

 

Since first stepping into the pop spotlight at age 17, David Archuleta has embodied the kind of genuine star power that can’t be manufactured. After years of dazzling audiences with his radiant personality and phenomenal voice—a journey that’s included turning out multiple platinum-selling hits, achieving global acclaim as a captivating live performer, and emerging as an undeniable fixture on the pop-culture scene—the Miami-born singer/songwriter experienced a major personal transformation that radically altered his identity as an artist. As shown on his recent single “Hell Together,” Archuleta has dramatically expanded the landscape of his songwriting and devoted himself to making pop music with equal parts uncompromising emotion and exhilarating impact.  

 

With his latest triumphs including winning the 2024 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist and landing a book deal with a HarperCollins imprint for his forthcoming memoir, Archuleta first moved toward the unfiltered truth of his new material with a revelatory writing trip to Toronto in late 2022. “It was a really magical week where I started exploring topics I’d never discussed before in my music, like falling in love with a man and leaving my faith,” says the L.A.-based artist, who came out in 2021. “In a way it was scary, but mostly it was thrilling to do what would have seemed impossible to the person I used to be. I realized I don’t have to hide who I am anymore.” Although he’d displayed a heartfelt candor on previous releases like his eighth album Therapy Sessions (a 2020 album that opened up about his struggles with anxiety), Archuleta ultimately embraced an entirely new element of unbridled creativity in the writing of songs like his euphoric 2023 single “Afraid To Love.” 

 

While Archuleta brought a sublimely dance-ready sound to songs like “Afraid To Love” and “I’m Yours” (a 2023 single whose video earned such illustrious awards as the Best Music Video prize at the Cannes World Film Festival), “Hell Together” centers on a stripped-back and soulful form of piano-driven pop. A gospel-inspired ballad that hit the top five on iTunes the day of its premiere in March 2024, the heartrending yet triumphant track took shape after a conversation with his mother following the publication of a People magazine article in which he discussed his faith transition. “I didn’t hear from my mom for a few days after the article came out and I was worried she was upset with me, because she was very devout and always saw the church as a place of healing,” he says. “But when we finally talked my mother said that she was stepping away from the church as well. She told me, ‘I don’t want to be somewhere that my children don’t feel loved and welcomed. If you go to Hell, we’re all going to Hell with you. We’re a family and we’ll always be there for each other, in good or in bad! ’” 

 

Not only a powerful example of his newly elevated artistry, “Hell Together” is an unprecedented showcase for the tremendous vocal talents Archuleta has cultivated since childhood. Raised in Utah from the age of six, he first fell in love with music due to the influence of his mother (a salsa singer and dancer) and father (a jazz trumpeter). By his early teens he’d begun writing songs of his own, and in 2008 he gained massive fame as the first runner-up on the seventh season of American Idol. After making his debut with his double-platinum single “Crush,” he released a steady stream of albums and built an adoring following around the world, touring in such far-flung places as Asia and the Middle East. In a truly unexpected and audacious move, Archuleta left the music business in a moment of colossal success and headed to Chile to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years—then returned with a profoundly renewed sense of purpose as he dove back into his music career.

 

As he continues to unlock new levels of freedom in his music and beyond, Archuleta has found an endless source of inspiration in his growing passion for dancing, raves, and festival culture. “EDM festivals and dancing have been a new way of feeling a sense of community and togetherness that I was worried I would lose,” he says. “Feeling a oneness through music and dancing is so magical and therapeutic—it’s freeing and also creative. It has encouraged me to be more fearless and to not be afraid to express myself in more creative ways.” With his recent live experience including making his musical-theater debut in 2022 as the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat—and joining the likes of Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, Grammy Award-winner Victoria Monet, and Lauv for the 2023 LOVELOUD tour—Archuleta routinely brings that open-heartedness to a high-energy live show that fosters an extraordinarily close connection with the crowd. Over the past few years, he’s also deepened his relationship with his fanbase by bringing his effortless charisma and disarmingly warm presence to social media platforms like TikTok, where he’s now spurred numerous viral videos with millions of views. 

 

Naming such eclectic artists as Tracy Chapman, indie-pop singer/songwriter Maddie Zahm, and Nigerian musician Tems among his current inspirations, Archuleta is continuing to unveil more of his inner life in his songwriting. With more new music due out soon, he notes that uncovering his most authentic voice has involved finding self-assurance in unexpected places. “Growing up in the church, I was taught to stand up for my beliefs and share them with the world, which is exactly what I’m trying to do with my music,” he says. “Even though I stand for something else now, I still have that same level of conviction in what I do. I believe in being bold in my vulnerability and speaking the truth of who I am, so that hopefully people can come away from my songs feeling like they understand themselves, or others, or just life in general a little better than they did before.” 

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Press Clips:

American Songwriter - David Archuleta on Coming Out, Leaving the Mormon Church, and Going Through “Hell” and Back to Make New Music and Write a Book

Out Magazine - David Archuleta dishes on queer life, viral TikTok videos & new single 'Hell Together'

Q Salt Lake - The ‘Idol’ We Need Now

Forbes Magazine  - David Archuleta Lost ‘American Idol’ But Tells How He Won A New Life 

People magazine -   David Archuleta Debuts 'Hell Together' Music Video with Rare Baby Footage 

Music Times - David Archuleta on Controversial Coming-Out Song ‘Hell Together’

People magazine - David Archuleta Reveals What His Mom Texted After 'Hell Together' Came Out 

 

Paper magazine –  In Hell With David Archuleta

"A Book Of" Cover Story - DAVID ARCHULETA’S MUSICAL MANIFESTO ON FAITH AND FREEDOM 

Los Angeles Blade - David Archuleta may have lost masked singer but he’s winning life

Entertainment Weekly - May 18, 2023 - Macaw on why The Masked Singer season 9 finale was like 'a live therapy session with an audience'

People magazine - Stepping Back from Mormon Church After Coming Out as Queer: 'I Feel Liberated'

Multimedia Clips:

David Archuleta performs "Hell Together" on 'GMA'

David Archuleta surprises fans on 'GMA'

iHeart Radio "Can't Cancel Pride" performance

Name That Tune featuring David  

Mayim Bialik Breakdown podcast - Permission to make mistakes

LoveLoud speech and performance 2022

Today Show   - David Archuleta on therapy, self-acceptance and using music as an outlet​

Videos

Photos

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