American Idol Crystal Bowersox: Who is Mama Sox?

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Crystal Bowersox is the only female left in the top 4 of American Idol season 9. Crystal is also the favorite to win. She doesn't exactly look like a stereotypical American Idol but she sure does sing like one.

Who is Crystal Bowersox?

Crystal Bowersox was born – 4th August 1985- and raised in Elliston (pop 90), Ohio just Southeast of Toledo. Bowersox has an elder brother Will and a twin, Carl. When Crystal was 2 years old her parents divorced. At 7 she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Crystal Bowersox started singing and writing songs at 10 years old. She attended Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, Ohio (where she was on the swim team) and later the Toledo School of Arts. In her teens this American Idol front runner formed a band "Oldinuph" with her brothers and started performing in local bars.

American Idol's Crystal Bowersox sang at a small local bar, Papa's Tavern in Toledo, as well as the local church, street markets and county fairs while in Toledo. Then she was on to the Monday night slot at the Village Idiot in nearby Maumee for $100 a set. The $100 was shared between herself and the band.

Bowersox in Chicago and Abroad

Bowersox moved to the big city, Chicago, when she was 17, and performed at open-mic nights in various small venues, some of them just for tips. American Idol's Crystal Bowersox also spent the 5 years she was in Chicago busking on the streets and in stations. She also waited tables and turned friend's hair into dreadlocks to make a few extra Dollars. Bowersox then moved back to Toledo to give birth to her now one year old son, Tony.

While living her dream she managed to travel to quite a few countries starting with England where she performed at an "Experience Chicago" festival, and later went on to other countries including Turkey and Mexico performing in cafes. So although she comes from a small town Crystal has had some valuable life experiences which probably gives her music it's soul. She chooses songs she can relate to and that comes across to the audience, as she sings from the heart.

Crystal Bowersox has not settled for a job just to pay the bills but has remained faithful to her dream of being a singer, even if it meant struggling from pay check to pay check and from gig to gig. The reason she finally auditioned for American Idol was for her son, so that he would have a financially secure future. Before American Idol Crystal lived in Chicago and continued to write and perform her personal brand of music.

Crystal Bowersox Pre-Idol Recordings

She plays guitar, harmonica and piano, as well as writing songs. Crystal recorded a few songs locally before coming to American Idol and some of them can be heard on You Tube, such as "Farmer's Daughter" and "Holy Toledo". In 2009 Bowersox also won the Toledo Blade Battle of the Bands.

Crystal Bowersox Son and Boyfriend

American Idol's Crystal Bowersox son was not fathered by her present boyfriend although both her son's father, Crystal's son and her present boyfriend are all named Tony. Her son's father was from Eastern Europe and has returned there where he has another child from a different woman. Crystal has been with her present Tony (Big Tony) since about 6 months before the American Idol auditions.

Crystal Bowersox Style

Crystal Bowersox sings in a raspy gritty voice and she favors folksy blues on the rocks. This American Idol contestant is inspired by Janis Japlin, Sista Otis, Bonnie Raitt and Milissa Etheridge. Crystal's personal style is relaxed hippie with muted colored clothes, there are no sequins and glitter in her wardrobe. Crystal wears her hair in dreadlocks and has for about 4 years.

Crystal Bowersox Tattoos and Piecing

Crystal has several tattoos one of which she got during the Idol season along with some other contestants. Crystal Bowersox's tattoo on her wrist is of a gadfly with the words Type 1 diabetic written down the middle. She also has a sunflower on her back and her son's name. Bowersox has a piecing in her bottom lip and ears, there may be more…

Crystal Bowersox Image

Crystal Bowersox's present image is that of a hippie busker straight off the streets. I personally prefer when Crystal comes out from behind the guitar and uses her voice as her only instrument. She is not exactly your typical American Idol girl next door, her teeth need work, she's a single mom, her hair is ratty, she has tattoos, low energy and does not pander to anyone. In short Crystal Bowersox doesn't fit the American girl next door image that American Idol fans seemed to be looking for when they voted for Chris instead of Adam Lambert in last years American Idol.

In season 8 the Idol audience definitely voted for the clean cut all-American image over the obviously more talented Adam Lambert. Chances are that in the end Crystal will be given the Hollywood treatment and get a make over. However if Crystal Bowersox stays true to herself, as Adam Lambert did, she may not win American Idol but her career has been launched.

Crystal Bowersox American Idol?

It looks like Crystal loves singing and creating music but she can sometimes get too into herself and miss the vital connection with the audience, she would probably be more comfortable in a studio recording than on tour. Yes she has talent as a singer but lacks the showmanship of an Idol. However showmanship can be acquired but Crystal Bowersox was born with talent.

In March 2010 Crystal's future on American Idol was in jeopardy when she had a short spell in hospital due to complications related to her Type 1 diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes), but she bounced back and continues to wow audiences with her strong and emotional vocals.

Hopefully the American Idol voters will look past the fact that Crystal is not the typical all American girl but rather the funky type all American girl who's been to the University of Life, and come home again. She may not be the generic, commercial, glamorous, plastic smiling American Idol Simon Cowell would have preferred, but she is definitely the most talented singer left on this seasons American Idol.

***Since writing this article Crystal Bowersox has married her old friend musician Brian Walker in Chicago in October 2010.


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