Cody Fry got the golden ticket. The new season of “American Idol” just began January 7, but eyes (and ears) are already on the 24-year-old Northfield native after a stripped back rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” accompanied by acoustic guitar in his audition was met with approval by judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. Fry is one of the lucky finalists who moves into the next round, Hollywood Week, which will begin airing on February 4 (FOX, 7 p.m. CST).
Here’s what we know about Fry so far:
- He is a 2008 graduate of New Trier High School where he was active in the choir opera, swing choir and chorus.
- Fry is not just a surname, it’s also how Cody got his start singing jingles as a kid for brands like McDonald’s. His dad, Gary, was a composer for radio and TV commericals and saw the early talent in his son. Fry still collaborates with his dad, most recently on music for his wedding.
- In fact, McDonald’s and its subsidiary Chipotle was one of the rationales that led Fry to audition for “Idol.” As he says on his blog, “With the aid from McDonald’s, Chipotle grew from a mere 16 restaurants in 1998 to over 500 in 2005. That growth is something that Chipotle could have never accomplished on its own. …This is the core reason why I decided to audition … in order to make ends meet and create a lasting career, I need to expand my platform and bring my music to as many people as I can.”
- Fry currently lives in Nashville, where he is at home in the local country/folk scene. You can even detect a slight accent when he talks. In his feedback, Harry Connick, Jr. said “people are embracing your style now, so it’s good timing.”
- He not only sings but also plays guitar and piano and writes all his own material.
- He makes a living as a touring musician, reaching as far as Singapore and Japan last summer.
- Before “Idol,” there was local press for his solo works. Chicago Tribune hailed him as a “rich slice of blue-eyed soul.”
- Fry recently released an album called, “Keswick,” inpsired by the small Iowa town where he spent some of his childhood. It’s already reached #4 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts.
- A series of “Live Captured Recordings” was just released if you want to get a sneak peek of his stage performance before the “Idol” finals heat up.
- He’s already been trending on Twitter, so stay tuned to watch this star grows brighter.