Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Caleb Lee Hutchinson performing in 2019
Background information
Born (1999-03-02) March 2, 1999 (age 22)
Dallas, Georgia, United States
Years active2016–present

Caleb Lee Hutchinson (born March 2, 1999) is an American singer-songwriter, and runner-up on the sixteenth season of American Idol.[1]

Early life

Caleb Lee Hutchinson was born in Dallas, Georgia,[2] to William and Piper Hutchinson. He has a brother Tyler.[3][4] He started playing guitar when he was 12. He attended South Paulding High School, and graduated in 2017.[5] In 2015, at age 16, Hutchinson appeared on The Voice on the contest's 9th season auditioning with "The Dance", but none of the presiding judges Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton turned their chair, and Hutchinson was eliminated from the show.

American Idol

In 2018, he auditioned to season 16 of American Idol with the song "If It Hadn't Been for Love" from The SteelDrivers. All three judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan voted "yes" for him to continue. During the season, he sang "Die a Happy Man" (Top 24), "Midnight Train to Memphis" (Top 14), "You've Got a Friend in Me" (Top 10), "When Doves Cry and "Amazed" (Top 7), "So Small" and "Stars in Alabama" (Top 5) qualifying for the shows' finale. On May 20, 2018, he performed "Don't Close Your Eyes", "Folsom Prison Blues" and his single was "Johnny Cash Heart" finishing runner-up to winner Maddie Poppe.

During the season, he lost 70 lbs. since he first appeared on the show.[6] During the final, Caleb declared that he and winner Maddie Poppe were dating.[7]

Episode Theme Song Choice Original Artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice If It Hadn't Been for Love The Steeldrivers N/A Advanced
Top 24 Solo/Duet Contestant's Choice Die a Happy Man

Meant to Be (with Bebe Rexha)

Thomas Rhett

Bebe Rexha

1 Advanced
Top 14 Contestant's Choice

Victory Song

Midnight Train to Memphis

Gettin' You Home

Chris Stapleton

Chris Young



Top 10 Disney You've Got a Friend in Me Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett 8 Safe
Top 7 Prince

Year You Were Born

When Doves Cry






Top 5 Carrie Underwood

Mother's Day

So Small

Stars in Alabama

Carrie Underwood

Jamey Johnson



Finale Winner's Single

Reprise Song

Hometown Decision

Johnny Cash Heart

Don't Close Your Eyes

Folsom Prison Blues

Caleb Lee Hutchinson

Keith Whitley

Johnny Cash





Music career

Hutchinson's song on American Idol, "Johnny Cash Heart", was released after his performance on the show. The song charted at No. 16 on the Country Digital Song Sales chart on its first week of release.[8]

On 28 June 2019, Hutchinson released a self-titled EP, produced by Kristian Bush of Sugarland.[9] Two songs from the EP, "Left of Me" and a cover of Post Malone's song "Better Now" were first released in January 2019.[10]


Extended plays

Title EP details
Caleb Lee Hutchinson
  • Release date: June 28, 2019
  • Label: Caleb Lee Hutchinson
  • Formats: Digital download


Year Title Sales Album
2018 "Johnny Cash Heart" Non-album single


  1. ^ "Caleb Lee Hutchinson Announced As American Idol Runner-Up, Losing Out To Girlfriend Maddie Poppe". Business 2 Community. Retrieved 2018-05-22.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ O'Shea, Brian (May 20, 2018). "Where is Dallas, Ga.?". AJC.
  3. ^ Spigolon, Tom (May 20, 2018). "City's response, possible win has father of Paulding 'Idol' finalist 'overwhelmed'". West Georgia Neighbor.
  4. ^ Ho, Rodney (March 19, 2018). "'American Idol' notes: Caleb Lee Hutchinson interview, TV ratings, Kelly Clarkson". AJC.
  5. ^ Spigolon, Tom (May 17, 2018). "'American Idol' finalist Caleb Lee Hutchinson comes home to Dallas". West Georgia Neighbor.
  6. ^ American Idol Contestant Caleb Lee Hutchinson Details Amazing 70-Lb. Weight Loss
  7. ^ Hollywood Life: ‘American Idol’s Maddie Poppe & Caleb Lee Hutchinson
  8. ^ "Country Digital Song Sales". Billboard. 2 June 2018.
  9. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 28, 2019). "Caleb Lee Hutchinson Drops Self-Titled EP". Roughstock.
  10. ^ Vulpo, Mike (March 3, 2019). "How Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson Are Hitting All the Right Notes After American Idol". EOnline.
  11. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 5, 2018). "Top 30 Digital Country Singles: June 6, 2018". Roughstock. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
Preceded by
La'Porsha Renae
American Idol runner-up
Succeeded by
Alejandro Aranda