Hearne: The Rise & Fall of David Cook

david_cookNot all American Idol winners are created equal…

And there’s no better example of that than Kansas City’s David Cook, winner of the reality show’s seventh season. Unlike past Idol winners such as Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson who have become household names and achieved superstar status, five years after the fact Cook remains basically, “David who?”

As evidenced by a TMZ brief in December to which the gossip site felt the need to later add a pic of Cook singing along with advisory, We realized you might need a refresher on who David Cook is …You’re welcome.”

Actually, there’s good news and bad news where Cook’s concerned.

First the good.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 12.48.11 PMCook has made Forbes list of the Top 10 earning Idols every year since taking top honors in May of 2008. While Forbes methodology of totaling earnings “from album sales, concerts, merchandising and other income sources for the past year” doesn’t equate to bottom line bank, it is a good indication that Cook has fared well financially if not artistically following his big win.

Cook came in at No. 8 on Forbes list in 2009 at $2 million, No. 7 in 2010 at $2.8 million and tied for No.  10 in 2011 and 2012 at $1 million per year.

david-cook-sells-la-home-5-610x405How much of that green actually hit Cook’s bank account remains unknown, but clearly there was enough dough and cache to enable him to purchase what TMZ described as a $1.3 million Hollywood mansion and engage in a high profile romance with second season Idol contestant Kimberly Caldwell.

Cook’s debut album was certified Platinum in 2009 with sales of over one million units and combined with his lucrative deal with Skechers, he was clearly in the chips.

Now the bad news.

David CookCook’s second major label album, “This Loud Morning” debuted in June of 2011, garnered tepid reviews at best and sold only 130,000 copies its first year. That’s more than an 87 percent drop from his self-titled debut album.

“Poor David Cook,” wrote a reviewer for US Weekly. “The rocker hasn’t really lived up to his American Idol title since his season 7 win. And while his nimble guitar work and gruff voice are still in fine form on his second CD, they’re squandered on yet another homogenous set of songs. Sadly, it’s another forgettable collection of cliche-soaked lyrics”

“Adam Lambert is widely hailed as the most daring Idol performer, but it was Texas-born David Cook, winner of the show’s seventh season, who laid the foundations for him, with risky, loud, left-field versions of classic pop tunes. He shows no such appetite for taking chances on his second studio album, instead channeling wishy-washy, all-purpose emotion and radio-friendly, anthemic pop-rock choruses that are pale imitations of Cook’s professed alt-rock heroes like Chris Cornell and Alice In Chains…” echoed Rolling Stone reviewer Will Cook. “Cook’s voice still hits a sweet spot occasionally, and the music is accomplished enough. But This Loud Morning isn’t worth waking up for.”

Next thing anyone knew, Cook’s label dumped him, he dumped the Hollywood manse (it was only 3,000 square feet anyway)  and was off to Nashville to look for greener pastures and work on a third album.

david-cook-kimberly-lunchCook even got a taste of good-old fashioned Hollywood tabloid journalism early on after he broke up with Caldwell.

Star magazine reported in December that David checked out an extravagant 2-carat diamond and platinum ring from Tiffany’s to be given to Kimberly when he proposes to her,” aceshowbiz.com writes. “The gem reportedly costs $54,000.

“However, last week Star claimed in a report that Kimberly has ‘been caught in a clinch with a handsome bar manager!’ She ‘flirted, danced, drank and made out with Ryan Der at L.A.’s trendy ONE Sunset on December 29,’ the publication revealed.

“Kim and Ryan, according to a source as being quoted by Star, were seen ‘grinding on the dance floor. They started playfully kissing, but that quickly led to long lip locks until they were full-on making out.’ The source continued, ‘Everyone could see she was really letting loose. She and Ryan were laughing together as they threw back beers and vodka cocktails.’ ”

As for the future, who knows?

Cook might be able to make it as a growling country singer, or strike the right alliances and return to his alt rocking days here in KC. Whatever happens, it’s far better to have been loved and lost than never to have been loved at all.

Cook seemed to recognize that in an MTV interview shortly after winning Idol.

“I actually walked into this with no expectations and I’m walking out of it with no expectations, and I think this show is a springboard, but it’s still a crapshoot,” he said. “I could easily walk out of this arena and just be a regular Joe tomorrow. I hope that’s not the case. That’s kind of up to everybody else.”

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34 Responses to Hearne: The Rise & Fall of David Cook

  1. smartman says:

    Oh well, there goes Kelly Urich’s gravy train. People say that when Kelly speaks you can still get a faint whiff of David’s balls.

    Being quite familiar with SoCal real estate I can assure you that in Hollywood proper $1.3/MM gets you dreck.

    Like most AI alums the majority of the money he made out of the box didn’t go to him. So much for slavery being abolished in the US.

    His success was a curse, something he would never have achieved without a vehicle like AI. Short of writing the next Every Breath you Take, his career is over. County Music or as Marty Stuart refers to the CMA….Country My Ass….is the nastiest, most brutal segment of the music biz these days. He’d be better off and safer signing with Death Row. In music, Nashville is the new Compton.

  2. KLK75 says:

    I despise “journalists” like you because you couldn’t be further from a real journalist. You want to know why David Cook hasn’t seen the success he so richly deserves? It’s because real music is no longer relevant and that is sad! He and his band actually sing, write their own songs and play real instruments. You rarely hear real music and vocals on the radio or on a stage today. Today’s “music” is based on people who know how to use a computer and make noises and help “singers” sound good. Today’s “singers” use auto-tuned technology to perform live and on recordings. When you add the choreographed dancing, the costumes and the stage show, no one is paying attention to what is coming out of their mouths. With David Cook, you get real music, real lyrics and real vocals. He gives a damn about what he records and releases!!!! Not many in the music business can say that!!!

    • CG says:

      Point well taken. The entertainment world is based on product that is produced for the masses to relate to, no longer based on much talent…i.e. Brittney Spears..and the like. No more movie stars, nobody I can think of is a male movie star under 40, nobody, and likely nobody ever will be again…its over. Cook is likely a victim of the ‘new world order’ I tunes, U Tube, on and on, everyone is a star, just watch them do their new song for 4 million hits about a tree and a dog that is in their yard, sounding like sixth graders…this comment is correct…its OVER folks…sorry…yes there will be something here and there, not much…enjoy.

      • KLK75 says:

        I find nothing to relate to with today’s “music”. Especially when you have such riveting lyrics such as “Baby, Baby, Baby” from Bieber. I am very old school with my music and proud of it. It is my one hope that one day, real music will return to the airwaves. When articles like this are written, all it does is feed the egos of the morons who think they are creating real music.

        • balbonis moleskine says:

          Check these out:

          If you like the Eagles then you’ll like Calexico.

          If you like the the Neville Brothers/Meters you’ll like Galactic.

          If you like less polished Bruce Springsteen you’ll like Titus Andronicus

          If you like the Who you will like Japandroids.

          now you have four bands to check out on youtube!

      • Super Dave says:

        Just to name a few male movie stars under 40 since again you don’t know what your talking about.

        Leonardo DiCaprio 38
        Colin Farrell 36
        Sam Worthington 36
        Christian Bale 38
        Orlando Bloom 33
        Jude Law 38
        James McAvoy 31
        Ashton Kutcher 32
        Ben Affleck 38
        Jake Gyllenhaal 30
        Toby Maguire 35

        • CG says:

          Half these guys are not stars, Tobby Maguire,Ashton Kutcher,Jude Law, Orlando Bloom so on…are not names that a movie will be made around, they are actors of note that can be hired to get aboard. Stars are names that get pictures green, like Cruise, Hanks, Pitt, Bob Downey, so on, only a few can do this today. Some it depends on ‘what kind of film.’ Yes Leo is a star, Affleck as well, but both as you wrote are near 40, as is Bale. Bloom means not too much…so as I wrote correctly there are almost no stars under 40, yes there are one or two and they are right at 40. I was hoping for Chris Pine, Star Treck, to get there, but so far he hasn’t.

          There are many fine actors under 40, but that doesn’t make them movie stars. A movie star gets a picture green on his name and power. Yes two or three of those guys can, Leo is a legit star, Ben is about there just now.

          Even using some of your names you only prove my point. Its thin buddy. And p.s. I do know what I am talking about, I do this for part of my living. End of story.

          • whatotherpeoplethink says:

            Lots of people appear on stage but aren’t real comedians anymore. DyyyyyynoMITE!

          • Super Dave says:

            Well in checking with my friends in the business and since Hearne wants things clean in here I will insert the word idiot in place of what I was hearing about your opinion of no real movies stars under 40. But like Rick said, “If he was such a Hollywood insider he would be out here trying to be someone instead of being in Kansas City trying to be someone and just not really getting it done. No he came out here once failed and was sent back to Kansas.” My buddy has a deleivery job opening if you want to go back out to Hollywood and try to make a living there again.

        • Greg Clazer says:

          You are so obcessed with me you just cant stop…you are such a hater….I know all those guys on your list Stupid Coward Dave…it is common for peeple in the entertainment imdustry to say they are younger than they are…i am actually 75 years old and these guys are all over 40…i you hate me so much we should settle this if you have the guts…meat me in the school parking lot for a best two out of three falls no disquallification tables ladders and chairs cage match…I will have all my family and freinds their to see me beet you…show up if you have any guts Stupid Coward Dave!

          • CG says:

            Old man, I don’t know who you are and don’t care. Seems you spend a ton of time on these sites, writing hate mail. I’m kinda busy with my life, guess you aren’t whoever you are pretend name Dave. I am on these sites as a writer, you are just not. We all know you will never stop so continue on with your meaningless campaign of jealous contempt. Have at it buddy. Some of us have things to do.

          • Greg Clazer says:

            CG, you are just another jellus hater…wish you were me dont you

    • CGTA says:

      KLK75, you have my applause !!
      I couldn’t had said it better.
      It’s a great – and also sad – truth that, unfortunatelly, at our days Good and Real Music doesn’t mean success and recognition.
      It’s sad see talented artists like David and other great ones lacking the success and recognition they deserve and at other hand so many “fake artists” being recognized, winning awards, and so on.
      I’m a dreamer – so I still believe I’d be alive to see this state of things change and true artists are finally those who are successful – and these “rapid consumption products/artists” going back to the obscurity from which they should never have left.

      • KLK75 says:

        Thank you!!! I remember when real music existed. HOPEFULLY it will see the light of day again and take over the music industry where it belongs.

  3. DRC_PLT says:

    Quality over quantity, is David’s motto. He would rather make music that means something to him then meaningless dribble that would sell millions. I admire David cause he bares his heart and soul in music and does what feels right for him knowing it might not get him super star status. He may not be number one on the charts but he is number one in the hearts of his strong devoted passionate fan base who stand behind him 100 %. David Cook is a sweet, humble, caring, smart, funny and passionate man, he is a rare shining gem in a sea of celebrities who have forgotten how they got where they are. Can’t wait for new music from him.

  4. ladynsearch says:

    This guy is just a gossip columnist who got fired from the Kansas City Star. He doesn’t have anything better to do with himself. Maybe someone should write an article entitled “The Rise and Fall of Hearne Christopher Jr.”

    • CG says:

      Look when you make a living writing about other peoples lives, as Hearne has, some of it won’t be pretty. Hearne does at times deliver good news stories on people as well. I met Cook, he did seem a very nice person, it was at radio in Westport right after he won. I do think its a bit unfair to call him a failure, he surely isn’t. He won American Idol the number one show on TV, has several records/dvd’s, and seems to be making a nice living, way better than most and is part of the entertainment scene. I give him credit and hope he knocks one out of the park. Seems a decent person, who works hard at his craft.

      • balbonis moleskine says:

        are you the guy writing the columns for Glazer now over at Tony’s? It’s odd his grammar has improved and he seems a lot more well read now. Weird.

        • Craig Glazer says:

          Yes, its the same guy Craig Glazer. Just edit tighter before sending it in thats all, Hearne could have had that early on, but we were both a bit lazy. Happens.

        • Hearne says:

          More specifically, Craig is now having his columns edited and cleaned up by a Stanford’s employee with writing experience.

          He did offer at the end to have them edited for KCC but I felt the site was just too heavily concentrated on Craig.

          He’s also writing less often – at least for now – on Tony’s.

          Make no mistake, Craig is nothing if not prolific – he’s got a lot to say – and lots of people either love him or love to hate him.

      • Hearne says:

        I didn’t intend to call Cook a failure.

        That’s why I laid out those numbers from Forbes. However, it’s plain to see that they were spiraling down, his record label dropped him, the second album was a clunker…

        Clearly he’s not on the upswing. Can we at least agree on that?

    • Hearne says:

      Easy, ladynsearch…

      I didn’t get fired, I got laid off alongside hundred of others, as has been the case nationally at newspapers the past five years. On top of that, they tried to hire me back for about 40 to 50 cents on the dollar but were not allowed by corporate because I took my severance check in 2008 instead of 2009.

      By the way, I’m writing this under my real name and the editors at the Star know this is true. What’s your name again, ladynsearch?

      Enjoy worshiping your idol, I’m not trying to rain on anybody’s parade, just laying out the facts and some perspective for local readers to graze on.

  5. the dude says:

    David who?
    Sir, your 15 minutes are over, please exit the ride- you can leave the guitar strap behind for the next manufactured commodity.

  6. Kim says:

    What this Man wrote is rubbish and does not have anything to do with his time. I have had the pleasure of meeting David in 2009 and again in 2011. What he gives to his Fans is amazing and he is just a Gem of a Person. His Music is by for the most heartfelt compared to what is out there. I thought that This Loud Morning was a Masterpiece but it is really sad that it did not get the recognition that it deserved. Thanks to the RCA A$$ hats for that!

  7. Irishguy says:

    I’m not a David Cook fan, but I will note that with national TV exposure and a platinum album, he’s achieved far more success in his chosen career than most of us have, even if he never records another note.

    Yes, it is easy to look down our noses at every American Idol winner when they don’t reach Kelly Clarkston/Carrie Underwood heights, but this is a brutal business. If you don’t believe that, check out “Searching for Sugar Man.”

    Cook certainly has nothing to apologize for, or to even care that Hearne Christopher thinks he has “fallen.”

  8. chuck says:

    David Cook’s anagram is Vodka Doc I.

    I don’t know who he is, but he can’t be all bad.

    • Cody says:

      Hahaha. I love it. Cook seems like a good dude. And a platinum album and a couple of platinum singles is nothing to sneeze at. As someone who is a fan of lots of Indie bands, I can also tell you that 130,000 albums sold would be considered a minor success, not a failure. The music industry is BRUTAL right now, especially for Rock artists. Anyway, no doubt he is talented, and I hope he better success in the future, but I as long as he is making a decent living pursuing his music I wouldn’t exactly call him a failure. Whatever.

  9. JG says:

    I’m not a David Cook fan but jeezus chryst the guy managed to accomplish a massive amount of success, made a ton of money and traveled the world. His success was a curse? What a f’n moron. His success is a big gnarly wave of life experience that none of us will ever come close to riding. Doesn’t matter how it ends. It happened.

    • admin says:

      True enough. That’s why I posted those Forbes numbers.

      The question now being however, what’s next, is the dream over?

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