This time 12 months ago, “American Idol” season-nine champ Lee DeWyze was probably kicking back with some pals at a Mt. Prospect, Illinois, bar while watching the NBA Finals. What a difference a year makes. DeWyze will have a front-row seat for Sunday (June 6) night’s game two of the Los Angeles Lakers/ Boston Celtics series at L.A.’s Staples Center when he sings the national anthem before tip-off.
The gig will be DeWyze’s first performance at a major event since he won “Idol” last Wednesday, and ABC will air it live beginning at 8 p.m. ET. DeWyze will join good company, as the NBA has featured nearly all the “AI” winners at its championship games since 2004, including Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook and Kris Allen.
The slot in front of 20,000 screaming NBA fans will be good practice for this summer’s American Idols Live! tour , which will hit 49 markets beginning on July 1 with a show at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and keep the top 10 on the road through a September 16 date in Portland, Maine.
DeWyze also made his official debut on the Billboard Digital Songs chart this week. And while the numbers were tame, the former paint store clerk said he was not sweating it.
“You can’t complain about that, regardless of what it is,” DeWyze told MTV News . “But this is the first season that we did a cover song for the finale, and that’s obviously different from past seasons, whatever part that has to do with it. … There [were] things presented, and, you know, that was the right song for the moment, I felt. And I’m glad I did it.”
DeWyze’s coronation song, a cover of U2′s “Beautiful Day,” landed at #12, while four of his other remakes from the show, “Hallelujah,” “The Boxer,” “Everybody Hurts” and “Simple Man,” also charted in the top 200, along with his duet with runner-up Crystal Bowersox of “Falling Slowly.”
How do you think Lee will do at the NBA Finals? Share your predictions for DeWyze’s post-”Idol” career in the comments below.