Like fellow season six American Idol contestant Melinda Doolittle, Los Angeles native Brandon Rogers already had an established career as a backing singer before he entered the competition, performing with stars like Christina Aguilera, Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake, and Johnny Mathis. Rogers parlayed his childhood ability to play or sing any song by ear into studies as a jazz vocal major at the University of North Texas, where he studied alongside Norah Jones. A stint producing and performing with the vocal group Sons of Harmony in the late '90s and early 2000s led to an album on Maximum Records and a tour opening for Destiny's Child. The group dissolved in 2001, and Rogers began his career as a backing singer. While on tour with Aguilera, he began writing and demoing his first solo album, Automatic, which was released in 2006. Rogers' performance at the Los Angeles auditions caused the judges to comment that he was one of the best voices they'd heard, and strong showings in later rounds earned him a spot as one of the 24 semifinalists. ~ Heather Phares
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