Trenton William "Trent" Harmon (born October 8, 1990) is an American singer who gained national attention for winning the fifteenth and final season of the original run of American Idol on April 7, 2016.

Early life and education

Harmon was born in Amory, Mississippi, the son of Cindy and Randy Harmon. [6] He started in music when his mother taught him to sing " Amazing Grace " when he was the age of 5, and he grew up singing in church. [7] His family owns a farm and a yard-to-table restaurant, Longhorn, where he was a waiter. [8] [9] [10] He credits his upbringing on the farm and in the restaurant for his strong work ethic. [9]

He sang and performed through many musicals throughout Amory High School and at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. Before his graduation from the University of Arkansas at Monticello , he led worship services on campus. [8] He first learned to play the piano but expanded to also play drums and guitar.

Music career

Harmon first tried for national recognition in May 2014 when a close friend convinced him to try out for NBC's The Voice in New Orleans. After singing "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith for the casting director he was one of 300 open audition contestants chosen to compete further from a field of 32,000. The show then flew him to compete in Los Angeles where he sang "Jealous" by Nick Jonas. Months later in October 2014 he was again flown to Los Angeles for several weeks with his family to be filmed for the show although ultimately no judge chose him and his audition did not air. [9] Harmon later stated that the rejection prepared him for his 'Idol' phase of his career. [9]

American Idol

Harmon auditioned for American Idol in Little Rock, Arkansas August 2015, [11] surprising the judges, after hearing of his farm upbringing, singing the rhythm and blues song " Unaware " by Allen Stone . [10] He was the first RnB singer shown to be accepted by the judges in the season. [10] It was revealed later in the season that Harmon kept a leather-bound journal where he wrote down every comment and criticism the judges offered. [12]

During Hollywood week he was encouraged to quit when diagnosed with mono , and sequestered in a bathroom for most of the week to keep the contagious disease from spreading. [13] Harmon impressed the judges when, for an 'Idol' first he performed the group round as a solo. [13] [14]

During "Idol Grammy Hits" week Harmon was coached to bring his "strange faces he makes when he sings" under control. [15] Judge Harry Connick Jr. noted Harmon also lost an "exaggerated jaw vibrato" that would eventually cause him to lose his singing voice. [15]

Harmon won the fifteenth season of American Idol on April 7, 2016. His winning coronation single " Falling " was written by singer songwriter and American Idol judge Keith Urban with Dallas Davidson and Brett James . [16] For winning the title, Harmon received a Ford car and a recording contract with Big Machine Records . La'Porsha Renae was named runner-up.

Performances

Week Theme Song(s) Original artist(s) Result
Auditions Contestant's choice " Unaware " [10] Allen Stone Advanced
Hollywood Week Lines of 10 " Lay Me Down " [6] Sam Smith Advanced
Group Rounds* " Rather Be " [6] Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne
Final Judgment " Tiny Dancer " [6] Elton John
Top 24 Contestant's choice " What Are You Listening To " [6] Chris Stapleton Advanced
Top 10 Contestant's choice " Like I Can " [6] Sam Smith Safe
Top 8 Idol Grammy Hits " When a Man Loves a Woman " [22] Percy Sledge Safe
Top 6 American Idol All Time Song Book " See You Again " [22]
(duet with La'Porsha Renae )
Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth Safe
" Stand by Me " [6] Ben E. King
Top 5 America's Twitter Song Choice " Counting Stars " [24] OneRepublic Safe
" Simple Man " [24] Lynyrd Skynyrd
Top 4 Classic Rock / Sia " Sharp Dressed Man " [25] ZZ Top Safe
" Chandelier " [14] Sia
Top 3 Hometown Dedication " Tennessee Whiskey " [26] Chris Stapleton Safe
Scott Borchetta 's Choice " Drink You Away " [26] Justin Timberlake
Judges' Choice " Waiting Game " [26] Parson James
Top 2 Winner's Single " Falling [27] Trent Harmon Winner
Simon Fuller 's Choice " If You Don't Know Me by Now " [27] Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
Favorite Performance " Chandelier " [27] Sia
Finale Finale show " It Takes Two "
(duet with La'Porsha Renae) [28]
Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston
Winner's song " Falling " [28] Trent Harmon

Post Idol

Following his win on American Idol Harmon was signed by Big Machine Records . His upcoming album will have country and indie-soul influences. Big Machine's Scott Borcheta said it would be like the country album Justin Timberlake would make. [13]

In a post-show interview Harmon was asked his thoughts on home state's anti-LGBT "Religious Liberty" legislation (HB1523) which allows people and businesses to deny service to LGBT people. [29] Harmon recounted that in the restaurant business, he served whoever walked in the door and treated them with respect, and "I think that you should treat all people equally and respectfully, and that's what I do, and that's what I'm going to continue to do no matter what law is passed." [29] [30]

In December 2016, he released his self-titled EP which features his Top 30 hit "There's a Girl" and four other tracks. [31]

Discography

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Top Country Albums Heatseekers
Trent Harmon - EP - - -

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions Sales Album
US Country
[32]
US Country Airplay
[33]
US Bubbling
[34]
2016 " Falling " 27 16 Trent Harmon
" There's a Girl " 27 18

Music videos

Year Video Director
2016 "There's a Girl" Roman White