Despite the controversy, critics praised Cook for choosing versions of songs that fit his vocal style.
Cook's arrangements of "Hello," "Little Sparrow," "Always Be My Baby," "All I Really Need Is You," "Baba O'Riley," "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" were original arrangements, and his rendition of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" was also highly praised with judge Paula Abdul saying that his version of the song could be on a movie soundtrack.
The song also reached #61 in the UK due to downloads alone.
David Roland Cook (born December 20, 1982) is an American rock singer-songwriter, who rose to fame after winning the seventh season of the reality television show American Idol.
Prior to Idol he released an album entitled Analog Heart, and his post-Idol self-titled album, produced by Grammy-winning producer Rob Cavallo, was released on November 18, 2008 and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA. David's eldest brother, Adam, battled brain cancer for 11 years until his death on May 2, 2009. He began singing in second grade, when his elementary school music teacher gave him a solo in a school choir performance.
Cook took advantage of the decision to allow contestants to play musical instruments.
Besides his Hollywood audition, he also accompanied himself on electric guitar for his performances of "All Right Now," "Hello," "Day Tripper," "I'm Alive," "Baba O'Riley," "Dare You to Move," and "Dream Big," and on acoustic guitar for "Little Sparrow," "All I Really Need Is You," and "The World I Know." His white, left-handed Gibson Les Paul electric guitar has the letters "AC" on it; as Cook told TV Guide, "I have two brothers, Adam and Andrew.
After losing interest in the sport due to injury, he focused more on music.
He earned a theater scholarship to the University of Central Missouri, but he abandoned theater after two semesters, graduating from the school in 2006 with a degree in graphic design.
Another of Cook's performances, The Beatles' "Day Tripper", was credited to Whitesnake.
Seattle-based band Doxology has claimed that Cook's performance of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" was based on a version the band recorded over a year ago.
Cook won the seventh season of American Idol on May 21, 2008, receiving 56% of the votes, with 12 million votes over David Archuleta as the runner-up.
Cook then sang "The Time of My Life", the winning song of the 2008 American Idol Songwriter's Competition.
At the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, Cook won the Best Reality/Variety Star award, alongside Lauren Conrad of The Hills.