• American Idol @ClarkBeckham4
    Clark Beckham performs on AMERICAN IDOL XIV airing Tuesday, May 12 (9:00 PM-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. © FOX Broadcasting.

    Lee University grad Clark Beckham was named runner-up of American Idol Season 14 on Wednesday, May 13, taking a close second to Nick Fradiani on the hit Fox reality TV singing competition show.

    Beckham, a native of White House, Tennessee, graduated from Lee in May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in history. During his time at Lee, he was a member of Campus Choir, performed in the theatre production “Big River,” and wrote and performed the original music for a production of “Much Ado About Nothing.” He also composed the score for two short films and wrote an original song titled “Love’s Not Fair,” which appeared in the short film “The Poor Cowards.”

    Beckham credited Lee University’s music program and the mentorship of Pastor Jim Phillips for much of his training and skill. Campus Choir, which is directed by Phillips, performed with Beckham at his hometown celebration, which aired on May 6.

    After graduating from Lee, Beckham took to performing on the streets of Nashville in order to hone his craft. He had planned to work on his graduate degree and help with Campus Choir this summer, but those plans took a back seat to his Idol adventure.

    American Idol seeks to find new solo recording artists, with the winner being determined by the viewers across America. Winners are chosen by viewers through telephone, Internet, and text voting.

    Beckham is the fourth Lee student to make it to the Hollywood rounds or further on Idol. The others are Phil Stacey, who placed sixth in season six; Chase Guyton, and Jermaine Purifory, who advanced into the Hollywood rounds.

    The Lee family is proud of Clark and looks forward to hearing of his continued success.

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    In The News Other LEE ALUMNI/STUDENTS, notable for musical achievements
    • Jay DeMarcus: Before he formed multiplatinum-selling country group Rascal Flatts, he played piano for New Harvest, a Lee University vocal group directed by Danny Murray.
    • Phil Stacey: "American Idol" Season 6 finalist, now contemporary Christian recording artist
    • Lee University Festival Choir – sang by invitation in the program of the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama.
    • Voices of Lee: A cappella ensemble selected as one of eight groups to compete on NBC's "The Sing-Off." They placed third in the reality show.
    • Jimi Westbrook: Singer, songwriter and musician in Little Big Town country quartet
    • Jeremi Richardson, Amy Richardson, Melissa Green, Janna Potter Long: Members of Avalon, Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music group
    • Nathan Chapman: Producer of Taylor Swift's "Fearless" CD, the top-selling album of 2009. "Fearless" won a CMA for Album of the Year and a 2010 Grammy.
    • Mark Harris: Singer-songwriter in 4Him, eight-time Dove Award-winning contemporary Christian band
    • Micah Massey – 2013 Grammy Award-winning songwriter (w/Israel Houghton)
    • Elicia Brown, Chrystal Washington Johnson, Ashleigh Massie: Performers in Voices of Liberty at EPCOT
    • Four Voices: Chad Guyton, Brandon Guyton, Lester Rector and Dr. Jayson VanHook, former members of Voices of Lee who won the 1996 Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Championship then were named 2002 World Champion Barbershop Quartet, the only quartet to have won both student and professional titles.
    • Stephanie Culberson: Miss Tennessee 2001 and Lee pianist who placed second runner-up in the Miss America competition
     

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