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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Knight News-Queen College interview

Elliot Yamin - Spotlight

Published: Sunday, August 30, 2009

During the past three years, Elliott Yamin has established himself as a household name In the fifth season of “American Idol,” Yamin finished third, after Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee. His debut album was certified gold, and his single “I'll Wait For You,” was a hit on the Billboard charts.

Yamin performed on Aug. 15 to a packed crowd at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, appearing with former season seven contestants Brooke White and Michael Johns as part of 102.7 FM's “Fresh In the Park” series.

Yamin's two biggest influences were his mother, Claudette Yamin, who passed away last year, and his mentor, Tony Klieciewicz. Of all of the songs that he has recorded, his favorite is a song called “Someday” from his new album “Fight for Love,” which he wrote in memory of his mother.

Yamin, a Type-1 diabetic, currently serves as a spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has made the decision “to use 'American Idol' as a vehicle to bring awareness to my cause.” The hardest aspect of his job is keeping his diabetes under control while he is on the road.

His proudest professional moments are his appearances on “American Idol” and his ability “to put out his own music.” Another fond memory is being part of Idol Gives Back, a charitable organization which raises money for underprivileged children around the world. He visited Angola, Africa, for four days with former “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino. He found it “both amazing and humbling to experience Angola and be part of a change.” A poignant moment during his visit there came when a baby boy was named “Elliott,” after him, a local tradition wherein babies are named after special visitors.

For Queens College students interested in pursuing careers in the music industry, Yamin recommends that “they work on their craft every day, as often as possible, and do whatever they can to showcase their talent.” Yamin adds that "a lot of things in this business happen by chance, so be ready for it."

Yamin's definition of success is “accomplishing what you set out to do, whether people recognize it or not.” He is aware that he is fortunate to have his fans, who are out there buying his albums. He wishes it were possible “to someday meet each and every one” of his fans.

Thank you so much
Markos Papadatos (staff writer)

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