The 23-year-old Honduran/Spanish American singer and former American Idol runner-up has returned home to Utah from his two-year Mormon mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Archuleta, who competed during the seventh season of Fox’s hit singing competition, announced his homecoming in a YouTube video, to the delight of Archie fans around the world.
“I’m home,” said a giddy Archuleta wearing the traditional missionary attire of a suit jacket, white dress shirt and tie.
While in the Missionary Training Center, Archuleta performed in a Mormon choir for its general conference. He also gave two special Christmas performances that were held on the Santiago Chile Temple grounds. During that time, he had little contact with his family or the outside world.
Even though the 22-year-old Honduran/Spanish American singer and former American Idol runner-up isn’t expected to return until spring 2014, 10 Archuleta tracks have been collected for a new album, which fans can stream on Billboard.
Before heading on his Mormon mission, Archuleta recorded several songs that were never placed on an official album — some unfinished demos, others hard-to-find cuts that had only been shared on international releases.
Due to his dedicated fans, many of the tracks were shared online, catching the eye of the label Entertainment One, which decided to compile them into a proper album: No Matter How Far.
The album’s lead single, the sentimental ballad “Don’t Run Away,” is one of two selections (along with “Heart Falls Out“) that hasn’t been released before in any format.
With help from British producers The Nexus (David Sneddon and James Bauer-Mein), the incomplete demo was polished into one of Archuleta’s finest moments.
The 21-year-old Honduran/Spanish-American singer has released the music video for the next single from his just released BEGIN. album, a cover of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.”
Archuleta croons his heart out while covering the classic song, which was originally released by R.E.M. in 1992. In the clip, the American Idol runner-up can be seen singing in a recording studio alongside an orchestra and producer Kurt Bestor.
Archuleta’s studio scenes was shot the day before he left for his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints mission in South America.
The Jed Wells-directed clip also includes a touching scene of a father on his daughter’s wedding day, a female soldier missing her son and a young couple who must be separated when one of them has to move out of town.
After releasing the video on his official YouTube channel, Archuleta posted a note for his fans say he’ll make more music after completing his two-year mission.
“I hope you know that I never wanted to leave you guys without music, and will continue when I get back,” he states.
“Everybody Hurts” is one of the covers on Archuleta’s latest album BEGIN., which was released on August 7. Other covers include Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”
The 21-year-old Honduran/Spanish American singer and former American Idol runner-up, who announced last December that he was devoting two years of his life to a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has released his latest album, which debuts on the Billboard 200 this week at No. 28.
Entitled Begin., the albumis a collection of 10 cover songs and one original, “Broken,” which was co-written by Archuleta. He recorded the album before starting his mission in South America.
The remakes include R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s “Don’t Give Up” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”
Signed to RCA after his success on Idol, Archuleta is now on the independent HighwayRecords imprint, owned by Desert Book, the publishing arm of the LDS church.
That qualifies Begin. to appear on Billboard’s Top Independent Chart, where it debuts at No. 5. The album makes an even higher bow on the Top Internet Albums chart, entering at No. 3. That equals Archuleta’s previous highest peak on the survey, when his self-titled debut album entered at No. 3 in 2008.
Begin. is Archuleta’s fifth album to appear on the Billboard 200. He has had one album debut on the chart every year since 2008.
David Archuleta is preparing to step away from the spotlight for two years.
During the Salt Lake City stop of his My Kind of Christmas Tour, the 20-year-old half-Spanish/half-Honduran American singer told the audience that he’ll be putting his music career on hold to serve a two-year Mormon mission.
“I would like to make a special announcement: that I’ve chosen to serve a full-time mission,” the American Idol Season 7 runner-up told the crowd while fighting back tears.
Archie, as he’s affectionately known, then opened up to his 2,000 fans in attendance about the decision to participate in a mission at this point in his life.
“It’s not because someone told me I was supposed to do it and not because I no longer want to do music anymore,” he said. “It’s because it’s what I feel I need to do next in my life. It’s the same feeling that I’ve always tried to follow in my life – the feeling that’s allowed me to have the opportunities I’ve had, the challenges and the blessings, too. And I’ve learned to trust that feeling and answer when it calls. That’s the reason why I know I have to do this in my life.”
No word on where Archuleta will serve, but like other Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints members, he will be expected to adhere to a strict set of rules, which includes a dress code (dark trousers, white dress shirts, and ties are usually required) and a daily schedule – typically up by 6:30 a.m. and proselytizing by 10:00 a.m. Young men and women on a mission are generally allowed only two phone calls in a year, both to their mother, on Christmas Day and Mother’s Day.
Meanwhile, only one concert date remains on Archuleta’s Christmas tour. Tonight, he’ll perform in Beaver Creek, Colorado.