Pia Toscano (born October 14, 1988) is an American singer from Howard Beach, New York. Toscano placed ninth on the tenth season of American Idol. She was considered a frontrunner in the competition, and her elimination shocked judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler, all of whom were visibly and vocally upset. Some viewers and media outlets described Toscano's departure as one of the most shocking eliminations in American Idol history.
Toscano was born on October 14, 1988, to Jane and Pat Toscano, and grew up in Howard Beach, New York. Her father worked as a corporate executive. She is of Italian descent. She began performing in talent shows when she was four, and by the time she was nine, had performed in a local church production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Toscano was the official National Anthem singer at her middle school, P.S./M.S. 207, and performed at every event including graduation. She attended LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts in New York City and graduated in 2006. Fellow Idol contestant Karen Rodriguez also attended this school.
She performed the National Anthem and "God Bless America" for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets' minor league team, several times a year for three years. In addition, Toscano was the winner of the New York Mets annual "Anthem Search" competition in 2008 and was selected to sing the National Anthem at a July 2008 game. Toscano has also opened for the Barenaked Ladies and performed with Josh Groban at Madison Square Garden.
Prior to Idol, Toscano worked as a make-up artist and as a wedding singer in a band called "Current Affair". She cites her musical influences as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Etta James, and Luther Vandross.
Toscano auditioned for Idol four times before. She made it through to Hollywood in season 6, but got cut during the first day of Hollywood. In 2010, she auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and was put through to Hollywood, this time making it through to the Top 24. Toscano was eliminated from the competition on April 7, 2011, finishing in ninth place.
"Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)"
Las Vegas Round
Songs of The Beatles Group Performance
"Can't Buy Me Love"
Hollywood Round Final
"Doesn't Mean Anything"
Top 24 (12 Females)
"I'll Stand by You"
Your Personal Idol
"All by Myself"
Year You Were Born
"Where Do Broken Hearts Go"
"All in Love Is Fair"
"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
"River Deep - Mountain High"
Ike & Tina Turner
^Note 1 Due to the judges using their one save on Casey Abrams, the Top 11 remained intact for another week.,
Following her elimination, Toscano appeared on several talk shows. She performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 8, Live with Regis and Kelly on April 11, Today on April 12, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 14. She performed "I'll Stand by You" on the April 26, 2011 episode of Dancing with the Stars. On May 25, Toscano appeared on Rachael Ray along with Stefano Langone and Paul McDonald. Toscano performed the National Anthem and "I'll Stand by You" at the Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C. on May 29, 2011.
The following summer, Toscano toured with the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011, which began in West Valley City, Utah on July 6, 2011 and ended in Manila, Philippines on September 20, 2011.
On July 5, 2011, it was announced that Toscano had officially signed with Interscope Records. Her debut single titled "This Time" premiered July 11 and was released digitally on July 13. Toscano performed the single on So You Think You Can Dance on August 4, Good Morning America on August 12, and Live with Regis and Kelly on August 16. Toscano has worked with Rock Mafia on two songs titled "Counterfeit" and "Dreamgirl" for her upcoming album.
On September 11, 2011, Toscano performed "God Bless America" at the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs game. In addition, Toscano performed "I'll Stand by You" and "This Time" at the Columbus Day parade in New York City. Toscano performed the National Anthem at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in Miami, Florida on November 20, 2011.
Toscano recorded a duet of "The Christmas Song" with Il Volo for their EP Christmas Favorites, which was released on November 21, 2011. On November 27, 2011, Toscano appeared on Disney Channel's So Random!, where she performed her single "This Time".
Toscano also co-wrote the song "Wrecking Ball" with Steven Miller for Aubrey O'Day, which was released on April 23, 2012.
She performed the National Anthem before every Los Angeles Kings home game in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, when the Kings won the Stanley Cup. She continued this tradition in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs and the first two rounds of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs as well as game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers.
On August 7, 2012, it was announced that Toscano met with the showrunners of Glee; however, the role she was auditioning for was re-written at the last minute, but the showrunners are hopeful that she will come back for a different role.
In September 2012, Toscano finished shooting her debut role in the film Grace Unplugged.
On September 4, 2012, Toscano parted ways with Interscope Records and 19 Management and her debut album that she recorded would not be released. Toscano remains signed to RedLight Management and recently signed with Underdog Entertainment, where she is recording a new album.
On May 30, 2014, Toscano began a six-date summer tour as a background singer for Jennifer Lopez, including appearances on Good Morning America and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.