A disqualified finalist of “American Idol” season 2, Corey Clark was at first praised for his tenor voice but later dismissed from the competition following his dark past. Later, he built a record label named CDC Music LLC and had a flopped eponymous album in 2005. Clark could also be seen on TV in shows like “Primetime Live” (2005), “Howard Stern” (2005) and “The Surreal Life” (2006).
Clark was kicked out from “American Idol” following a lawsuit by Wal-Mart (2000) and a Topeka grocery store (2001) for passing bad checks, as well as for his detention after resisting arrest (2002). Clark then claimed to have a romantic relationship with the Idol female judge Paula Abdul, during his stint on the show. Although the aspiring singer provided evidence of his affair, including an Abdul voice mail on his phone, eyewitness accounts and phone records, Fox television executives and Abdul herself vehemently denied the affair claim. In July 2006, Clark was again arrested, this time for violating his court order and trespassing at his father-in-law’s residence.
Some time earlier, Clark was given a court order prohibiting him from having any contact with wife Monica Rodriguez Gonzalez and eight others, including their child. However, when interviewed, Gonzalez denied that her husband is the Corey Clark that appeared on American Idol, even though she has admitted so to previous reporters.
Childhood and Family:
A son of singing parents, Corey Delaney Clark was born on July 13, 1980, in San Bernardino, California, and later moved to regions like Denver, Las Vegas, as well as Utah, where he graduated from Bonneville High School in Ogden.
Blessed with high tenor vocals, Corey made his professional start at age 12 as a backup singer, along with his parents, for Barry Manilow. It soon sparked his desire to have his own singing group, which he formed in high school with the name “Envy.” As the frontman of Envy, Corey made his way to several talent contests and opening act performances.
The singer is the father of a child from his marriage to Monica Rodriguez Gonzalez. In June 2006, Monica filed for a domestic violence protective order.
The Surreal Life
During his eight-year stint with Envy, Corey Clark won several talent contests in Las Vegas and became an opening act for such big names as Mya, KRS-One, Krayzie Bone, John B and Destiny’s Child. Clark and his singing group also signed a recording deal which resulted in nothing but the group’s separation in 2000.
Moving to Nashville with his family, Clark joined the local audition for the 2002 season of “American Idol.” Soon, the tenor singer amazed the judges and became one of the most impressive top ten finalists of the talent search’s second season. His performance also received praise from guest judges Lamont Dozier and the legendary Gladys Knight.
However, Clark was kicked out of the competition soon after the show producers found out his undisclosed police record. Adding to the sensations, the Idol finalist stated his alleged relationship with judge Paula Abdul in a 2005 broadcast of ABC’s “Primetime Live.” The new celebrity also later showed up as a guest in programs like “Howard Stern” (2005), “Only in LA” (2006) and “Soul Train” (2006).
Despite his ruined reputation, Clark focused on music by setting up his own label named CDC Music LLC and releasing a self-titled album in the summer of 2005. The album, whose making process was highly publicized, also featured guest performances by Black Eyed Peas and Scott Storch. Nonetheless, it hardly received any promotion or radio play and only sold 2,500 copies. Clark has also published a memoir, which also created some controversy.
“I’m here to let the world see and get to know who Corey Clark really is, as I’ve been heavily portrayed by the media to be a bad guy.” Corey Clark on his participation in “The Surreal Life” (2006)
In 2006, Clark joined the reality series “The Surreal Life,” where fading celebrities live their daily life in one mansion. He became the second contestant to be eliminated after refusing to participate in the show’s antics.