In 2008, more than 30 million television viewers fell in love David Archuleta; with his angelic voice, bashful sweetness and megawatt smile, over 44 million votes made him the first runner-up in Season 7 of American Idol - and a star at age 16.
Shortly after “Idol,” David’s first single, “Crush,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The track sold more than 2 million digital copies to become double platinum. Three months later, his self-titled album, David Archuleta, sold more than 900,000 copies worldwide.
With a faithful social media following (3.5 million Facebook followers, 1.1 million on Twitter, and almost 1 million followers on Tik Tok), David has toured all over the U.S., Canada, Asia and even in the Middle East. In 2017, he relocated to Nashville and released his seventh album Postcards in the Sky featuring all original songs that he had a hand in writing.
The gamechanger though was David's 2020 album, Therapy Sessions, which featured an inside look into his internal struggle with himself - a battle he has experienced for most of his life. He carried a heavy burden by trying to be something he was not, while knowing that who he really was would put him at odds with the church he grew up in. “I was going through therapy, and trying to apply the steps it took to escape the barriers I had created for myself,” he explains. “Music has always been healing for me and I hoped that what I created on that album would help people who were also struggling with who they were.”
In 2021, David came out as queer to the LGBTQ community and continues to navigate his identity. During this time, he also had vocal cord surgery, which left him unable to speak much for 3 months, resulting in a period of self-reflection.
In the summer of 2022, David shared his powerful coming out journey at the Love Loud Festival (HERE),which left both the audience and David in tears. David then made his professional musical theater debut as “Joseph” in the acclaimed Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. “Performing in Joseph really helped me connect with audiences in a way I hadn’t before. I was more reserved and unsure as a performer, and doing the show was part of the process of unlocking things within me.”
In the fall of 2022, David revealed to Good Morning America that he was experiencing a faith crisis and stepping away from the Church of Latter Day Saints, having been a Mormon his whole life. He then rounded out 2022 with the release of “Faith in Me,” his first song since having vocal cord surgery and, by far, one of his more personal songs. “It’s about being OK with who you are and moving forward. Not caring about what anyone thinks, just letting go of baggage, forging your own path and finding joy.” says David. “We actually re-wrote the song to accommodate where I was personally at the time of the recording.”
2023 is shaping up to be the Year of Archuleta, not the least of which is because of his return to television. The Masked Singer saw David spread his wings (and end up a finalist) as the Macaw, a bird known for its exuberant personality. An audience favorite, David rose to the top against other heavyweight vocalists such as Pentatonix, Michael Bolton and Sara Evans. “Being the Macaw was exciting because it was like becoming a new person. Even though people couldn’t see me in the costume, it allowed me to show a lot more of myself. I could be a lot louder with my personality and really let loose and spread my wings. I was able to show the colors I was too afraid to show and tap deeper emotionally in my performances.” said David
David’s also gone ‘home’ to American Idol, where he’s a mentor to up and comers like he once was. “It has been a beautiful experience. I have watched the show from the first season, and then competed in the 7th season of the show, which was already full circle for me. It was an honor to be asked back as a ‘seasoned professional’ to work with the contestants. It was fun, and it felt good be able to help others develop their talent, and have people say I was an inspiration,” he says. “Looking back to when I first watched, I can’t believe I would be there for people like Kelly Clarkson and Tamyra Gray were for me.”
David’s latest single is “Up,” and while not a continuation of “Faith in Me,” it’s similar in its optimism. “Faith in Me” was about me learning to have fun, and not take everything so seriously. “Up” is more of a reflective song. It’s looking at my journey and seeing how far I’ve come,” he says. “I hit rock bottom. I thought I wouldn’t get through it, but here I am. I thought I was hopeless and that I’d failed, but here I am. Even when you’re at your lowest, you need to realize you can only go UP. You need to hold on to that glimmer of hope and say, I am going to turn any type of hate and negativity into positivity and love. It’s a song about finding the strength you didn’t know you had in you. And replacing any fear and hate with love. Especially self love.”
“Up” will be part of a bigger project David’s working on, with a plan to record more music later this year for an album. “I am ready to share this new chapter and be comfortable with who I am as a performer. I’d like to go on tour when I figure myself out a little more, you know? My music was always formed around my beliefs, so I want to work out what I should put my faith in now. I can say that for the first time, I felt like I’ve taken my power back after having given it away for so long. That’s a huge step.”
Entertainment Weekly - May 18, 2023 - Macaw on why The Masked Singer season 9 finale was like 'a live therapy session with an audience'
glaad - David Archuleta Unmasks His Truth in Emotional Season Finale of “The Masked Singer”
People magazine - Stepping Back from Mormon Church After Coming Out as Queer: 'I Feel Liberated'
Billboard magazine – David Archuleta Talks ‘Faith in Me’
Variety - David Archuleta Lost Control of His Life on ‘American Idol.’ He Came Out as Bisexual to Get It Back