Crystal Bowersox dominated the ninth season of American Idol (finishing as runner-up to Lee Dewyze) and, now, is releasing her debut album, Farmer's Daughter, Dec. 14. She appeared at the recent Festival of Lights event on Michigan Avenue and sang out Nunn on One.
Windy City Times: Hey, Crystal. You were originally born in Ohio?
Crystal Bowersox: Yes. I was born Toledo, Ohio.
WCT: It's interesting that you have a twin brother.
Crystal Bowersox: Yes, I have a twin brother, Karl. I have an older brother, Will.
WCT: Do they sing?Read more story below....
Crystal Bowersox: Not really. We had a little band when we were younger but they never really stuck with it.
WCT: I bet they are kicking themselves now.
Crystal Bowersox: Yeah, they are both pretty square, they like playing video games.
WCT: When did you move to Chicago?
Crystal Bowersox: The beginning of 2004. I was in Lakeview at first, playing in the subways, lots of open micsstuff like that.
WCT: You sang at train stations.
Crystal Bowersox: Red Line, Jackson, Lake and the Blue Line as well. There are only four stops that you are allowed to play at, technically.
WCT: What made you audition for season nine of American Idol?
Crystal Bowersox: My son. I would never have auditioned for American Idol if I didn't have a kid. For a year people had been telling me to try out for the show. It just wasn't my thing. I didn't want to take a fast track to fame. I tried out for him, to provide a home and made it.
WCT: How was the overall experience?
Crystal Bowersox: It was awesome. It opened a lot of doors for me. I got to work with amazing performers such as Alanis Morissette and Harry Connick, Jr. I think I would have made it there eventually anyway, but it has been a rush this way.
WCT: You have a song called "Up to the Mountain." [Editor's note: This song is a single and is not on Farmer's Daughter.]
Crystal Bowersox: Yes; it was a suggestion by my friend to sing. It was written by Patty Griffin and was based on Martin Luthor King, Jr.'s, speech. I felt it was appropriate of my life and my own story.
WCT: So you have your first album coming out.
Crystal Bowersox: Yes, I just recorded it in New York. It is going to be cool and all original material. We did the photo shoot for the cover in Ohio.
WCT: Nice! What style will the album be?
Crystal Bowersox: I grew up on country and classic rock so it will be in the middle somewhere. It will be country, folk, blues all fused together.
WCT: I was talking with Melissa Etheridge about you.
Crystal Bowersox: Oh! How was that?
WCT: She loves you and was calling you "Mama Sox."
Crystal Bowersox: She's amazing.
WCT: I went to her concert and she played for three hours!
Crystal Bowersox: She kills it. For the Idol tour there was a rehearsal space next door to each other so while the other Idols were doing their thing, I would run over to her space and hang with her.
WCT: How fun!
Crystal Bowersox: Yeah, she's been a great mentor to me. She has given me a lot of advice on how to be a strong independent woman in this business and not take crap from anybody. It is not easy.
WCT: Do you want people to know about your bisexual past?
Crystal Bowersox: Hmm. Do I want to come out in Windy City Times?
WCT: It is completely up to you.
Crystal Bowersox: I believe in love, Jerry.
WCT: I love you! Where can people keep up with you?
Crystal Bowersox: My website, http:// www.crystalbowersox.com , is being revamped with new information being put on there and they can follow me on Twitter. It is my personal Twitter so I can talk to people. It's Crystal Bowersox.
Farmer's Daughter debuts Tuesday, Dec. 14. For more information and to purchase it, visit http:// www.crystalbowersox.com .