Josiah Leming charmed his way onto American television sets in early 2008, when the teenaged singer/songwriter appeared in several episodes of American Idol's seventh season. He received significant screen time during his brief period with the show, piquing viewers' curiosity with his unique background (he had reportedly left home in order to travel the country by car, essentially rendering himself homeless) and heartfelt vocals. Leming had spent the first half of his childhood in Morristown, Tennessee, where he grew up alongside eight siblings before making the decision to roam across American in a Mercury Topaz. Traveling from town to town, he began to sharpen his songwriting skills while courting new fans via MySpace. A number of emotive ballads developed from the experience, and Leming performed his very own "To Run" during his initial audition for American Idol. He advanced to the next round but was ultimately axed from the Top 24 lineup, a decision that saw much criticism from his rapidly expanding fan base.
Leming's luck hadn't run out, however; he made several TV appearances during the following weeks, including stints on MTV News and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he accompanied himself on piano during another rendition of "To Run." As the American Idol season progressed, so did Leming's prospects. He signed a record deal with Warner Bros. in May 2008 and quickly entered the studio, inspired by his mother's battle with terminal cancer to finish his debut album quickly. However, due to either creative problems in the studio or contractual disputes between Warner Bros. and 19 Entertainment (the production company behind American Idol) -- or both -- the release of Leming's debut album was delayed for two years. A short EP, Angels Undercover, was released in the meantime, and the full-length Come on Kid finally appeared in September 2010. ~ Andrew Leahey