BLACK VOICES

Ruben Studdard Talks 112 Pound Weight Loss, 'American Idol' Fame

Feb 11, 2014 | Updated Feb 18, 2014

Ten years after becoming the winner of “American Idol’s” second season, Ruben Studdard has released his 6th studio album this month entitled, “Unconditional Love."

The 11-track opus finds the Birmingham, Alabama native collaborating with the likes of Eric Benét, Lalah Hathaway, and world renown producer-musician, David Foster. And though the 35-year-old crooner is celebrating his ten year “American Idol” anniversary in May, he has no qualms about the show being referenced as his claim to fame.

“For a boy from Alabama who had no idea of how to enter the music industry after getting no responses to the demos I was sending in, it was a great blessing,” he said during a recent interview with Billboard. “It's a six-month music industry crash course. But what you learn quickly after leaving the show is that the industry is and isn't ‘American Idol.’ A.I. is a huge pop show, but the urban market is completely different. Still, the show was first class from the time I stepped off the plane.”

In addition to Studdard advancing his music career, he has also been conscious about maintaining a balanced diet by participating as a contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” And while Studdard admitted during a 2012 interview with the Huffington Post that he would never attempt to become a “spokesperson for health and wellness” due to his physical shape, he has since lost 112 pounds and feels “sexy!”

“I most definitely feel better than I did before,” he added to Billboard. “I have much more energy. But I've always felt I was sexy [laughs]. Maybe that's just the conceited side of me.”

“My earlier weight loss in 2008 was for other people. This time it's for me. I was fighting so hard to figure out how to get on top musically that I neglected to take care of myself. It was unfortunate, but the truth. And now I'm finding a way to fix that balance.”

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