UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Recording artist Ruben Studdard performs during the 21st Annual Movieguide Awards at the Universal Hilton Hotel on February 15, 2013 in Universal City, California.
Image #: 25510756 Barrington Scott runs the ball during the Alabama A&M vs University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff football game Saturday afternoon, Nov. 16, 2013, at Louis Crews Stadium
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 8: American Idol Finalist Ruben Studdard poses during the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) Activities Committee present
BURBANK, CA - MAY 20: American Idol finalists Ruben Studdard (C) performs with fellow contestants during the show's grand finale on May 21, 2003 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Burbank, California. Studdard won the competition to become the new American Idol.
031114 centric timeline ruben studdard 2003 flying without wings
031114 centric timeline ruben studdard 2003 soulful album
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 7: Singer Ruben Studdard arrives at The Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party at The Beverly Hills Hotel on February 7, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California.
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 16: Singer Ruben Studdard poses backstage at the 31st Annual American Music Awards at The Shrine Auditorium November 16, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 6: on stage at the 35th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre, March 6, 2004 in Hollywood, California.
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 20: Singer Ruben Studdard performs at the
031114 centric timeline ruben studdard 2004 i need an angel
 LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 01: Ruben Studdard and wife Zuri attend the 136th Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.
031114 centric timeline ruben studdard 2014 unconditional love

BEING: Ruben Studdard

Ruben Studdard: Through The Years
BEING takes a look back at the incredble life and music career of Grammy-nominated crooner Ruben Studdard.
Onward and Upward
Ruben Studdard was born in 1978 in Frankfurt, Germany while his father was stationed with the US Army but grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Between 1999 - 2002, Ruben Studdard graduated Huffman High school and received a football scholarship to attend Alabama A&M University, where he majored in voice studies & sang with a local Birmingham jazz and R&B band, Just a Few Cats.
Road to Greatness
In December 2002, Ruben Studdard traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to audition for the second season of "American Idol".
The Velvet Teddy Bear
In 2003, Studdard became one of the local finalists on “American Idol”. He was nicknamed the "Velvet Teddy Bear" by Gladys Knight who served as a guest judge on the show. Later that same year, he went on to win the “American Idol” contest ove runner up Clay Aiken, becoming the second American Idol winner in the show’s history.
New Era of Soul
In June 2003, Ruben Studdard released his first single, a cover of Westlife's "Flying Without Wings", (produced by the Underdogs and Babyface) which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Chart-Topping Success
In December 2003, Studdard released his first album, “Soulful”, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart.
For The Greater Good
In December 2003, Studdard received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Superstar" but lost to his idol, Luther Vandross.
Giving Back
In 2003, the smooth crooner founded The Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in the Music Art, aiming "to promote the essential role of the arts in education through learning initiatives for the development of students in the Greater Birmingham Area."

Top Winner
In March 2004, Ruben Studdard won the NAACP Outstanding New Artist award, beating out the competition and remaining on top.
Double Honors
In March 2004, Ruben Studdard was nominated for a Soul Train Award for Best New R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist for "Superstar", and also performed during the annual ceremony giving a sample of his velvety vocals to the audience.
Shifting Lanes
In November 2004, Ruben Studdard gave fans what they had been asking, releasing a gospel album entitled, “I Need an Angel”-- an uplifting project that sent souls soaring.
Love, Marriage and Heartbreak
Studdard met Surata Zuri McCants in October 2006, when he was signing CDs at a Wal-Mart in Atlanta. The couple exchanged vows in a short, private ceremony in Mountain Brook, Alabame two years later. Unfortunately, the pair filed for divorce in 2011, and officially dissolved their marriage in April 0f 2012.

Lose to Win
In 2013, Ruben Studdard joined the cast of “The Biggest Loser” as the show’s first ever celebrity contestant, continuing to be an American Idol for many facing weighloss challenges and also better his own health.
Don't Call It A Come Back!
On February 4, 2014, Ruben Studdard returned to music, filling a missing void in R&B. He released his sixth studio album, “Unconditional Love,' featuring Centric favorite Lalah Hathaway.


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