Monday, May 2, 2011

American Idol Profile: Who is Season 10 Finalist Paul McDonald?

Paul McDonald was selected as a top 11 finalist for Season 10 of "American Idol," the popular Fox Television musical contest and reality TV show, in 2011. As such, McDonald is listed for the 2011 "Idols Live" nationwide tour.

Standing tall and lean onstage with his scruffy blond beard, clad in his creatively embroidered and rhinestone-embedded rock star suits, McDonald quickly became a formidable force on "Idol" Season 10. Many fans were shocked to discover the "Idol" finalist had shelled out $4,500 for a flamboyant white floral suit, inspired by the designs of Nudie Cohn.

Bringing a unique voice to "Idol"

Singer-songwriter McDonald tried out for "Idol" in Nashville, singing Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" and Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti." The 26-year-old's appealingly raspy audition was not aired on the show, but The Grand Magnolias lead singer earned the famous golden ticket to Hollywood.

McDonald says he dreams of performing with The Rolling Stones. Having already performed at such venues as Austin's Antones, the Georgia Theater and New Orleans' Tipitina's, he confesses he would love to sing at the Hollywood Bowl, Nashville's Ryman, Los Angeles' Troubadour or even Madison Square Garden someday.

His favorite recording artists include Ryan Adams, Norah Jones, Gram Parsons, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. With no formal vocal training, McDonald points to a variety of artists and styles as his musical inspirations.

McDonald plays the banjo, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, piano and other instruments. Ever since Gibson Guitars presented all Top 11 finalists with custom guitars, he has found a new place to pluck.

His bright smile, reflecting his upbeat nature and love of performing, is perhaps due to calcium derived from his passion for macaroni and cheese, skim milk and strawberry Pop Tarts. A couple of years in orthodontic braces as a child probably didn't hurt, either.

Former dental student turned megawatt stage smile

Born August 29, 1984, in Huntsville, Alabama, William Paul McDonald is a true Southern boy. He grew up listening to a mix of country, folk, gospel, rap and R&B music. Graduating from Huntsville High School in 2002, McDonald enrolled at Auburn University, intending to study Biomedical Sciences and prepare for a career in pediatric dentistry.

By 2005, however, McDonald had formed the Hightide Blues, a Southern rock band later renamed as The Grand Magnolias. He dropped out of college in 2006, needing just two more classes for his degree, and moved to Nashville to record albums.

McDonald's band has toured with Sara Bareilles, The Zac Brown Band, JJ Grey, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Three Days Grace, T-Pain and other acts.

In the early weeks of "Idol," McDonald sang Stewart's "Maggie May," Ryan Adams' "Come Pick Me Up," Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" and The Miracles' "Tracks of My Tears."

Clearly, this boy has musical chops, but he also knows how to care for his teeth.
source:Linda Ann Nickerson, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Get Paul McDonald's Pre-American Idol Albums by The Grand Magnolias and Hightide Blues!

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