Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Casey Abrams became an overnight celebrity in January 2011, when he was selected to be a contestant on the popular televised talent competition American Idol. Abrams was born on February 12, 1991, in Austin, Texas. Abrams' family lived in Illinois for several years before settling in Idyllwild, California, where his father taught filmmaking at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Abrams became a student at Idyllwild, where he studied both jazz and classical music, with emphasis on the double bass and piano. In addition to jazz, Abrams developed a fondness for classic jazz and pop vocalists such as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, and James Taylor, and began studying singing as well as instrumental performance. When the producers of American Idol began holding auditions for their tenth season, Abrams appeared at the tryouts in Austin, and his version of Ray Charles' "I Don't Need No Doctor" impressed the judges, who made him one of the 24 semifinalists who took part in the televised competition in Los Angeles. Abrams' warm, engaging style and likable personality made him a favorite with American Idol's viewers as well as the judges, as did his eclectic choices of material, ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Nirvana. When Abrams fared poorly in the voting after reaching the Top 11, the show's judges made the rare choice to "save" Abrams, intervening to keep him in the running after an impressive performance of Elton John's "Your Song." However, four weeks later, Abrams was finally voted off the show, coming in sixth place while Scotty McCreery came in first. After making a number of television appearances and taking part in the annual American Idol concert tour, Abrams made his recording debut in the fall of 2011, when he and Haley Reinhart (another season ten contestant) recorded a duet version of the seasonal favorite "Baby, It's Cold Outside" that was issued as a single. In January 2012, Concord Music Group announced they'd signed Abrams to a record deal, and his self-titled debut album was released in June 2012. ~ Mark Deming
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