Phillip LaDon Phillips, Jr. (born September 20, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter from Leesburg, Georgia. He won the eleventh season of American Idol on May 23, 2012. His coronation song "Home", released after his win, became the best selling of all coronation songs. His debut album The World from the Side of the Moon was released on November 19, 2012.
Early life 
Phillips was born in Albany, Georgia, to Sheryl and Phillip LaDon "Donnie" Phillips, Sr., and moved to Leesburg when he was twelve. He grew up in Sasser and Leesburg, and attended Lee County High School. He graduated from Albany Technical College with a major in Industrial Systems Technology, but missed the graduation ceremony due to his obligations to American Idol. Prior to appearing on American Idol, he worked at his family's pawn shop.
Phillips started playing music when he was 14. He was mentored by his long-time friend and brother-in-law, Benjamin Neil, whom he credited for piquing his interest in music. In 2009, he formed the Phillip Phillips Band with Neil and another brother-in-law, Todd Urick, and performed in various local venues and events. He won a local singing competition, "Albany Star", in 2010. Phillips said his favorite singer is Jonny Lang, and other favorites include John Butler, Dave Matthews and Damien Rice, and he also enjoyed Mumford & Sons and Tool. He described his music as "jazz and rock alternative sound".
Prior to American Idol, he also auditioned on the second season of America's Got Talent but did not make it to its finals.
American Idol 
Phillips auditioned in Savannah, Georgia. He sang "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder. The judges then asked him to perform a second song with his guitar, and he performed Michael Jackson's "Thriller." He advanced to the Hollywood rounds, and later to the Las Vegas round.
On February 23, 2012, Phillips was chosen as one of the Top 25 semi-finalists, and then voted into the Top 13. His performance style on the show has been compared to Dave Matthews, and he covered one of his songs, "The Stone", in the competition. When asked about Phillips' imitation of his style, Dave Matthews said: "More power to him, I don't mind", and added "He should kick my ass, [then] maybe I can retire and he can take over my band."
After the Top 13 performance night, Phillips was taken to a doctor for possible kidney stones. He had eight procedures while he was on Idol, and had considered quitting the show due to the pain.
For his Top 3 performance, Phillips sang Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight." As the sole contestant who was never in jeopardy of elimination in any week of the competition, Phillips became the winner on the finale against Jessica Sanchez after a record-breaking total of 132 million votes were cast. His coronation song, "Home", was released after his performance, and had the biggest digital sales week for any Idol winner's coronation song.^Note 1 Due to the judges using their one save on Jessica Sanchez, the Top 7 remained intact for another week.
Music career 
After winning American Idol, Phillips went on the American Idol LIVE Tour from July to September with the rest of the Top 10 finishers of season 11. He performed the National Anthem at the opening game of the 2012 World Series on October 24, 2012. On November 15, he joined forces with the PS22 chorus of Staten Island for a concert to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. He also performed at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on December 6, 2012.
Phillips' coronation song, "Home", was a great success with sales of over 4 million copies in the US. It has been used in NBC's coverage of the Olympics, various commercials, film trailers, and TV shows. He performed "Home" on the PBS Independence Day celebration TV special, A Capitol 4th. He also appeared at the 83rd MLB All-Star Game held at Kansas City on July 10 and sang his coronation song. On October 9, 2012, he joined other musicians in the One World concert held in Syracuse University to honor the Dalai Lama. He also performed "Home" on the CNN Heroes special aired on December 2, 2012, and the CBS's A Home for the Holidays on December 19, 2012.
2012: The World from the Side of the Moon 
On October 15, Interscope announced that Phillips would release his debut album, titled The World from the Side of the Moon, on November 19, 2012. The album was produced by Gregg Wattenberg, with Phillips writing or co-writing the majority of the disc. On November 6, 2012, "Where We Came From" was released in advance of the album release as a free download on pre-order and for sale. The album debuted at No. 4 in the Billboard 200 with sales of 169,000 copies. The album was certified Gold by RIAA in January 2013.
Starting January 29, 2013, Phillips began a tour in North America with Matchbox Twenty as their opening act. He also headlined ten college dates in January with a four-piece acoustic band, and a further college tour with an electric band from March through May after his tour with Matchbox Twenty. From July 6 to October 5, 2013 he will tour as the opening act for John Mayer's Born and Raised World Tour. He is also scheduled to perform at the international music festival Rock in Rio, in Rio de Janeiro on September 21, the same day as John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen.
"Gone, Gone, Gone" from the album was released as a single on February 11, 2013. Phillips performed the song live on the March 14, 2013 edition of American Idol. "Gone, Gone, Gone" was also used as the twelfth season "send-off" song, played as the backing track for the montages that highlight each week's eliminated finalist.
Personal life 
He suffered from a congenital kidney condition that produces stones so large he cannot pass them. Soon after American Idol had finished, he had the kidney stones removed as well as reconstructive surgery done on his kidney. He is currently dating Hannah Blackwell, a nursing student. The pair met in 2010 when they were both volunteering at a women and children's shelter.