Before becoming a front-runner in the eighth season of American Idol, Adam Lambert made his name in the theater world, where he performed alongside Val Kilmer in the debut production of Ten Commandments: The Musical and landed an understudy role in a touring production of Wicked. The California native then parlayed his theater background into a multi-month run on American Idol in 2009.
Featuring the anthemic songwriting of Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic rose to prominence in 2007, when "Apologize" began its reign as the most popular digital download in American history. Although the song proved to be a quick success, OneRepublic had spent five years touring the musical minor leagues before its release, with Tedder splitting his time between the band's work and production gigs for other artists.
The Vancouver punk-pop quartet Hedley are led by frontman Jacob Hoggard, who first rose to national prominence as a finalist during the 2004 season of the television talent contest Canadian Idol. Though voted off the series in its penultimate episode, Hoggard proved a major fan favorite, guaranteeing significant media exposure for his subsequent pursuits. In 2005, he formed Hedley with guitarist Dave Rosin, bassist Tommy Mac, and drummer Chris Crippin, all of whom previously teamed in the Vancouver band Everything After.