It’s every performer’s
You’re center stage…
the lights are down, save
the spotlight on you…you
start playing…you start
(Did we mention this is
No, this isn’t just a psychological exercise
to see how well you might handle stressful
situations like this; it’s what happened at the
44th Annual Dove Awards…and it couldn’t
have happened to a better artist.
A consummate professional, he kept playing
while a black-clad stage runner finally
delivered a live mic, inserting it not-so-discreetly
into the boom mic (yes…still on tv!).
Surprisingly, this was not a veteran artist
whose years of stage experience had prepared
them for anything; rather this artist
was a 22-year-old from Murfreesboro, Tenn.,
who had already weathered and survived
some pretty harsh performance situations on
Of course, we’re talking about Colton
Dixon, who was one of the standouts on
American Idol, Season 11.
Always a professional, he only laughs as
we reminisce over the hiccup at the Doves. Of
course, considering his life over the past few
years, a little crazy-ness is par for
“It has been crazy,” he says. “I was going to
do ‘American Idol’ with my sister.”
At least that was the plan the first time
around. Both Colton and his sister auditioned
for Season 10, but neither made it all the way
to Hollywood. This time, Colton went all the
way. At least to number 7.
“Crazy as it was, musically and spiritually, it
was God’s initiation into music ministry and it
was great,” he recalls.
While “Idol” launched him into the limelight
of the music world, his talent and passion
have kept him there.
“I started taking piano when I was 8,” he
says. “I remember learning ‘I Can Only Imagine,’
by Mercy Me. I was overwhelmed by the
feeling that this was my true calling. I gave
Good move. Between “American Idol” and
the present, Colton has signed with Sparrow
Records and he released his debut album,
A Messenger, in 2013. The album re-releases
January 2014, but he’s already got his sophomore record in the works.
“We started writing for record two this past
summer and will be recording it this coming
summer,” says Colton.
Between now and then, Colton will be
keeping himself busy with a stint on a littleknown
tour that happens to be the number
one tour in the world—Winter Jam.
“This was on my bucket list,” Colton says
with a laugh. “Winter Jam has been my number
one choice. I’m so excited. I remember
coming to Winter Jam when Steven Curtis
Chapman headlined and Skillet was way up in
Things have changed a bit since then.
Newsboys are headlining the tour, alongside
a lineup that includes Lecrae, Tenth Avenue
North, Thousand Foot Krutch, Plumb,
Newsong, Everfound, Love & The Outcome
and Derek Minor and, of course, Colton. With
the West Coast leg in full swing, Colton has
already experienced a little idol fever himself.
“One of the coolest things has been meeting
these people,” says Colton. “They’ve exceeded
my expectations every time. A lot of them
were my idols growing up.”
It’s also a far cry from the American
“On ‘American Idol,’ you were so
disconnected from friends and family,” says Colton. ”That verse that says God will never
leave you or forsake you—I realized it was
Him kind of pulling me through the whole
journey. It was a comforting time for me and
something I felt needed to be shared. A lot of
us are like kids, afraid of the dark. We want to
jump up and turn the light back on. We need
proof that the light is still there.”
For one who’s getting used to spotlights by
now, Colton hasn’t lost a bit of his desire to
share the true light with the rest of the world.
And if the calm, cool professionalism he exhibited
at the Doves is any indication, God’s
just getting him started.