Michael Johns (born Michael John Lee; 20 October 1978 – 1 August 2014) was an Australian singer who finished in eighth place on the seventh season of American Idol, in 2008. In 2009, he released a music album, Hold Back My Heart, which sold 20,000 copies.
John Lee was born in Perth, Western Australia on 20 October 1978. As a teenager, he appeared as The Coachman in Pinocchio at the Regal Theatre and was a choir singer in Anything Goes at His Majesty’s Theatre.He attended Newman College in Perth. In 1997, John Lee moved to the United States on a tennis scholarship and majored in drama at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, before dropping out after two quarters.He also briefly played Australian rules football for the United States Australian Football League (USAFL) club Atlanta Kookaburras from 2001 to 2002.
John Lee moved from Tifton to Atlanta to pursue a music career, playing cover engagements. He then joined a band called Film for 18 months.After traveling to Los Angeles to showcase for a number of labels, he was signed to Maverick Records in 2002 as a solo artist under his birth name Michael Lee. He recorded an album, and then formed a rock band called The Rising. A song from the album “Cradle” received some airplay,and the album titled Future Unknown was released in 2003.It was also released on iTunes in 2008 after he appeared on American Idol. After Maverick, he was signed to Columbia, but was later dropped.He started using the name Michael Johns in 2006 as an homage to his stepfather whose name, like his middle name, is John, hence “Johns” because there are two of them in the family.
He auditioned for the seventh season of American Idol at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium in July 2007. He finished in eighth place in the competition.