Caleb Johnson is crowned new 'American Idol'by jmaloni
Two-hour season finale featured performances By Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc, KISS, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Jason Mraz, Jennifer Nettles, Paramore, Phillip Phillips and Darius Rucker
"American Idol" judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr. and mentor Randy Jackson gave a special group performance; host Ryan Seacrest joined Richard Marx for a surprise duet
"American Idol XIII" came to a rock-tastic close Wednesday as wild child Caleb Johnson was crowned the winner during the live two-hour season finale on FOX. Johnson, 23, from Asheville, North Carolina, emerged as America's top choice following Tuesday night's extremely close vote.
Jena Irene finished second.
Upon winning the coveted title, Johnson sang his coronation song, "As Long As You Love Me," which is available for download on americanidol.com and iTunes. Next, Johnson will release his self-titled debut album, which is available now for pre-order on iTunes. Johnson will also embark on the "American Idol Live! 2014" concert tour. The 41-show tour kicks off June 24. Tickets are on sale now on americanidol.com.
The broadcast from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles featured performances by the "American Idol XIII" judges, the reunited top finalists, as well as music superstars Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc, KISS, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Jason Mraz, Jennifer Nettles, Paramore, Phillip Phillips, Darius Rucker and, in a special solo performance, "American Idol XIII" judge Jennifer Lopez. Also, for the first time ever, after 13 years of hosting, "American Idol's" own Ryan Seacrest stepped into the singer's spotlight, as he performed with Richard Marx in an ode to the first concert he ever attended.
Johnson joins past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips and Candice Glover.
The search for the next singing superstar continues during auditions for "American Idol XIV" in Minneapolis Wednesday, June 18; New Orleans on Wednesday, June 25; Uniondale on Wednesday, July 23; Nashville on Wednesday, July 30; and San Francisco on Monday, Sept. 29. Once again, auditioners can submit online at americanidol.com (through Tuesday, July 1). Later this year, the annual "American Idol Audition Bus Tour" will visit Portland, Oregon; Portland, Maine; Reno; Columbus, Ohio; Richmond, Virginia; Albuquerque; Amarillo, Texas; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Branson, Missouri; Tallahassee, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri. Find out all you need to know about the social auditions and nominate someone here.
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