Jon Peter Lewis

Last updated
Jon Peter Lewis
Birth nameJon Peter Lewis
Born (1979-11-07) November 7, 1979 (age 39)
Lincoln, Nebraska
Genres Funk, blues, rock, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active2003–present

Jon Peter Lewis (born November 7, 1979, in Lincoln, Nebraska) is an American singer and songwriter, and was one of the finalists on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol . He was frequently referred to by the judges and Ryan Seacrest as JPL.

Lincoln, Nebraska State capital city in Nebraska, United States

Lincoln is the capital of the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. The city covers 94.267 square miles (244.150 km2) with a population of 284,736 in 2017. It is the second-most populous city in Nebraska and the 71st-largest in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the state called the Lincoln Metropolitan and Lincoln-Beatrice Combined Statistical Areas. The statistical area is home to 353,120 people, making it the 106th-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.


Lewis later formed a duo titled Midas Whale with a friend Ryan Hayes and appeared on the fourth season of The Voice .

<i>The Voice</i> (U.S. season 4) season of the US television series

The fourth season of the American reality talent show The Voice premiered on March 25, 2013, on NBC and was hosted by Carson Daly, while Christina Milian returned as the social media correspondent. Coaches Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton returned, though Green and Aguilera appeared as performers instead of coaches. two new coaches Shakira and Usher then served as replacements coaches for Aguilera and Green. The team sizes were trimmed back down to 12 per team, with each coach having two 'steals' in the Battle Rounds.

<i>The Voice</i> (U.S. TV series) American talent competition series

The Voice is an American singing competition television series broadcast on NBC. It premiered during the spring television cycle on April 26, 2011, and expanded into the fall cycle with the premiere of the third season on September 10, 2012. Based on the original The Voice of Holland, it has aired fifteen seasons and aims to find currently unsigned singing talent contested by aspiring singers, age 13 or over, drawn from public auditions.


Lewis lived in various cities across the United States before leaving home at the age of 18. He graduated from Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1998. He starred in the lead role of Thorin Oakenshield in a local children theater's production of The Hobbit in the summer of 1997. Lewis performed in other numerous theatrical productions and was a band member of various rock and roll bands throughout his high school and college years. [1] Lewis is a Mormon [2] and attended Brigham Young University–Idaho for a time hoping to pursue a career in medicine. [3]

Thorin II Oakenshield, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King under the Mountain is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit. Thorin is the leader of the Company of Dwarves who aim to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. He is the son of Thráin II, grandson of Thrór, and becomes King of Durin's Folk during their exile from Erebor. Thorin's background is further elaborated in Appendix A of Tolkien's 1955 novel The Return of the King.

<i>The Hobbit</i> Fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a children's fantasy novel by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.

American Idol

At the age of 23, Lewis cashed in his college loans to audition for the third season of American Idol in Honolulu, Hawaii where he sang '"Crazy Love" by Van Morrison. Praised by Simon Cowell for his "very, very good voice," Lewis went on to display an uninhibited stage personality that won the hearts of millions of Idol fans. Simon Cowell later hailed Jon as "the dark horse to win the competition," and Rolling Stone magazine pegged Jon as a "pick to win," while Elton John praised Lewis's voice for his "excellent pitch and phrasing."

Crazy Love (Van Morrison song) original song written and composed by Van Morrison

"Crazy Love" is a romantic ballad written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1970 album, Moondance. The song was originally released as the B-side to "Come Running" in May 1970 before it was released as a single in the Netherlands, "Come Running" as the B-side. The cover of the single shows Morrison with his then-wife, Janet "Planet" Rigsbee. The photograph was taken by Elliot Landy, the official photographer of the 1969 Woodstock festival.

Van Morrison Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician

Sir George Ivan MorrisonOBE, better known as Van Morrison, is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and record producer. His professional career began as a teenager in the late 1950s playing a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands, covering the popular hits of that time. Van Morrison rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria". His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. After Berns's death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks (1968). Though this album gradually garnered high praise, it was initially a poor seller.

Simon Cowell English reality television judge, television producer and music executive

Simon Phillip Cowell is an English television music and talent competition judge, businessman, A&R executive, talent manager, and television producer. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Cowell is the principal, founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.

Affectionately known as 'JPL' by his fans, Lewis was a member of the third group of semifinalists and performed the Elton John song "Tiny Dancer". After performing "A Little Less Conversation" in the wild card round, Lewis was put through as a finalist by audience vote, receiving 22% of all votes cast.

Tiny Dancer song by Elton John

"Tiny Dancer" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It appears on John's fourth album, Madman Across the Water, and was released as a single in 1972. In the U.S. it was certified Gold on 19 May 2005, and Platinum on 19 August 2011, and 3x Platinum on 26 April 2018 by the Recording Industry Association of America. In the UK, "Tiny Dancer" has been certified Gold on 17 August 2018 by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales of 400,000 copies, despite never being released as an official single. Back-up vocals are provided by Tony Burrows. The song was popularized after being featured in the 2000 film Almost Famous.

A Little Less Conversation 1968 single by Elvis Presley

"A Little Less Conversation" is a 1968 song recorded by Elvis Presley written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange and published by Gladys Music, Inc., originally performed in the 1968 film Live a Little, Love a Little. The song became a minor hit in the United States when released as a single with "Almost in Love" as the A-side. A 2002 remix by Junkie XL of a later re-recording of the song by Presley became a worldwide hit, topping the singles charts in nine countries and was awarded certifications in ten countries by 2003.

On April 15, 2004, Lewis was voted off in eighth place after a flashy rendition of "Jailhouse Rock" during movie songs week. During the competition, he had displayed a three-octave vocal range and developed a strong fan following. As part of the Top 10, Lewis participated in the 50-city American Idols Live tour in the summer of 2004.

Jailhouse Rock (song) 1957 US rock song

"Jailhouse Rock" is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller that first became a hit for Elvis Presley. RCA Victor released the song on a 45 rpm single on September 24, 1957, the song had a film release of Presley's motion picture under the same name, Jailhouse Rock.

American Idol performances

Semifinal Group #3Contestant's Choice"Tiny Dancer" Elton John 4Eliminated
Wild CardContestant's Choice"A Little Less Conversation" Elvis Presley 1Selected
By Public
Top 12Soul Music"Drift Away" Dobie Gray 5Safe
Top 11Country Music"She Believes in Me" Kenny Rogers 7Safe
Top 10Motown Music"This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" The Isley Brothers 2Safe
Top 9Elton John"Rocket Man"Elton John2Safe
Top 8Movie Soundtracks"Jailhouse Rock" from Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley3Eliminated


Rather than accepting business offers to use his Idol fame to release a quick pop album, Lewis decided to work on his own musical style and create original music. From late 2004 to 2006, Lewis spent the majority of his time composing original music working closely with music producer Alex Gibson of Henson Recording Studios, among other notable entities in Hollywood. "Turn to Grey" was among the first songs that he wrote; he composed it while on tour with the Idol finalists. Jon recorded part of the song as a homage to Jennifer Hudson after she told him that she loved singing the song around her house.

In 2005, he collaborated with Canadian songwriter/actor James Collins to write and record "It's Christmas", which was released by EMI/Universal in Canada as part of the Now Christmas 2 album. The song went to number thirteen on the Canadian radio charts in two weeks. [4] In addition, a second original holiday song "California Christmas" was recorded by Lewis and released in 2006 for the album Breaking for the Holidays by Breaking Records. The upbeat holiday song was called a "Christmas classic" by Chuck Taylor of Billboard magazine.[ citation needed ]

In September 2006, Lewis released his second single containing the songs "If I Go Away" and "Man Like Me" through his independent label, Cockaroo Entertainment. His limited release debut album, Stories from Hollywood, was released on his 27th birthday, November 7, 2006, making Jon the first Idol finalist to independently release an album of original songs. The album is a collection of energetic rock and roll and intimate acoustic tracks.[ citation needed ]

Lewis' second full-length album, Break the Silence, debuted July 22, 2008. The album was released through Cockaroo Entertainment in conjunction with Adrenaline Music Group. Chris Garcia, who has worked with Santana and Michelle Branch, Dido and Jewel, produced the album under the guidance of executive producer Don Grierson, a former head of A&R for Capitol and Epic Records. Lewis wrote or co-wrote several tracks for the album, featuring musicians such as guitarist Nick Lashley, drummer Kenny Aronoff and Blake Mills. The CD has received critical praise including a "Critic's Choice" review from Billboard magazine.[ citation needed ] It was called "one of the best pop/rock CD's of the year" by Monica Rizzo of People magazine[ citation needed ] and "impressive" by Ken Barnes of USA Today .[ citation needed ] The title track single hit the top 30 charts on Hot AC radio and in November 2008 was one of only fifty songs pre-programmed into all of the new iPhones on display at Apple Stores and AT&T stores across the country.[ citation needed ] Lewis went on to release a self-titled EP in February 2010.

In 2009, Lewis launched an internet show titled American Nobody. The program takes an inside look at the music business as well as a tongue-in-cheek view of pop culture. The show received early critical praise. American Idol journalist and biographer Richard Rushfield described the show as, "a hilarious romp through Idol land built around the misadventures of a singer who, seven years after Idol, is still searching to find his place in the industry." [5] American Nobody was added to TV Guide's "Hot Web List" [6] and the Los Angeles Times called it "the most brilliant and biting satire of Idoldom ever written." [7]

Jon Peter Lewis met Ryan Hayes in Rexburg, Idaho and became friends. In 2010, Lewis produced and starred in a rock opera, Deep Love: A Ghostly Folk Opera. The production, co-written by Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood, debuted in Idaho in October 2010 and garnered support, which positioned the show into a multi-city theatrical event. [8] [9] [10] Deep Love was chosen as one of ten shows produced for the New York Musical Theatre Festival in July 2015.[ citation needed ]

In 2015, Lewis released an EP titled Roughcuts. According to Lewis the recordings are in their "roughest and raw forms" and "they are like first drafts from my brain and may end up as Midas Whale songs."[ citation needed ]

Lewis has been a contributor to MTV, Entertainment Weekly , Rolling Stone magazine, Los Angeles Times, and AOL Entertainment.[ citation needed ]

Midas Whale

In 2013, Jon Peter Lewis teamed up Ryan Hayes to become Midas Whale (a pun on "might as well"). According to Lewis, he asked Ryan if he wanted to form a band and be on TV and Ryan replied "Might as well", which then became the name of the duo. [11]

The Voice

In 2013, Jon Peter Lewis and Ryan Hayes auditioned for the fourth season of The Voice as duo Midas Whale. [12] In their audition, which broadcast on March 26, 2013, they performed the Johnny Cash song "Folsom Prison Blues." All four judges pressed their "I Want You" button and turned their chairs. Lewis and Hayes chose to join Adam Levine's team. [13] They were eliminated in the knockout rounds.

Post-The Voice

As Midas Whale, Jon Peter Lewis released their first full-length album titled Sugar House on February 11, 2014. [14] The album was produced by Stuart Maxfield and funded by fans via Kickstarter where they raised over $30,000. [15]



Album and detailsPeak
Track list
Stories from Hollywood
  • Date released: November 7, 2006
  • Record label:
  • Genre: Alternative rock, soul and pop
  1. "Boy Next Door"
  2. "Gypsy Queen"
  3. "What's Wrong"
  4. "Man from Amsterdam"
  5. "If I Go Away"
  6. "Man Like Me"
  7. "Stories from Hollywood"
  8. "Rodeo"
  9. "Burning in Hello"
  10. "Turn to Grey"
  11. "Amanda Grace"
Break the Silence
  • Date released: July 22, 2008
  • Record label: Cockaroo Entertainment
    in conjunction with Adrenaline Music Group
  1. "Break the Silence"
  2. "Now That I'm Kneeling"
  3. "Beautiful"
  4. "Winning Streak"
  5. "No Fire"
  6. "Everybody Falls"
  7. "Bridges"
  8. "Something Almost Sacred"
  9. "To Make You Feel My Love"
  10. "Came Here For"
  11. "If You Don't Mean It"
  12. "Have I Told You"
  13. "Tonight"
  14. "Things I Didn't Know"
Sugar House (as Midas Whale)
  • Date released: February 11, 2014
  • Record label: Midas Whale
  1. "Before I Leave"
  2. "Howling at the Moon"
  3. "A Good Wind (Get a-Going)"
  4. "My Father's Son"
  5. "Bright and Early"
  6. "Pacific Way"
  7. "A Little More"
  8. "Thanks a Lot"
  9. "What Might Be"
  10. "Into the Unknown"
  11. "Rise and Shine"
  12. "Sweet Dreams"


Track list

  1. "Song for Christopher Columbus"
  2. "Turn to Grey" (Acoustic)
  3. "Crazy Love"
  4. "A Little Hope"
  5. "Man Like Me"

Track list

  1. "Home Bound
  2. "Whole
  3. "What I Meant To Say
  4. "Michigan
  5. "Don't Know What Else


Appearances in

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  2. Petersen, Sarah (April 24, 2013). "4 Mormon contestants advance on 'The Voice'". Deseret News. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  3. Landeen, Chanae (December 5, 2009). "'American Idol' changed Jon Peter Lewis". Deseret News. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  5. Rushfield, Richard (2011). American Idol: The Untold Story. Hyperion. p. 254.
  6. Archived 2009-10-21 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Lyndsey Parker (3 March 2013). "'Voice' Folkies Midas Whale Talk Rock Operas, 'Idol' Origins, and Being "Baked"". Yahoo Music.
  9. "People: American Idol". People. 17 April 2012. p. 57. ASIN   1618930222.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
  11. "Midas Whale Album: by Jon Peter Lewis". Kickstarter.
  12. Lyndsey Parker (March 27, 2013). "'The Voice' Season 4, Episode 2: The Pen Salesman Of 'Idol' Returns!". Yahoo Music.
  13. Amabile, Michele (March 28, 2013). "American Idol Alum Jon Peter Lewis Advances on 'The Voice'; Hails Show's 'Nurturing' Nature". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  14. "Midas Whale of The Voice Release Debut Album". PRWeb. February 11, 2014.
  15. Fred Bronson (February 26, 2014). "How a 'Voice' Mic Failure Gave 'Idol' Alum Jon Peter Lewis a Second Chance at Music (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter.