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.
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.
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.
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.
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.