Joshua Ledet (born April 9, 1992) is an American singer from Westlake, Louisiana. In 2012 he placed third in the eleventh season of American Idol. He is known for his "soaring, church-bred brand of old school soul music." In 2017, he released a self-titled EP.
Ledet grew up in the small woody suburban city of Westlake in Louisiana's Calcasieu Parish, a part of the Lake Charles metropolitan area near Calcasieu River. His home life was slow and easy-paced with lots of family get-togethers and friends sleeping over, as the focus was "food and fun." In 2004, when he was eleven he watched another southern soul singer, Fantasia Barrino, sing "I Believe" in the final show and win the third season of American Idol and knew he would like to sing for a living. Ledet graduated from Westlake High School where he was a part of the school's theater program for all four years of school. If he could not be a singer he would likely be an actor. The first concert he ever attended was by Beyoncé. He grew up singing in his family church and writes songs and lyrics for and attends the House of Prayer Holiness Church. He has a large extended family and said his proudest moment outside singing is being an uncle to all his nieces and nephews.
When asked to tell something about himself that would surprise most people he stated it was that he only eats spicy food. He noted on the reality show that he missed Louisiana Creole cuisine so Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne established a "Feed the Dream" project with the state's Seafood and Marketing Board to ship Ledet food each week including tamales, crawfish, boudin (a Cajun sausage), (chicken, duck and andouille) gumbo and jambalaya, donated by Louisiana restaurants and food manufacturers. He said a dish he probably could not live without is rice and gravy, from Creole cuisine, usually a brown gravy based on pan drippings, which are deglazed and simmered with extra seasonings and served over steamed or boiled rice.
According to the American Idol highlights, Ledet was studying criminal justice at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.
On his American Idol contestant page he notes his mother influences his musical style and he has had no formal singing training. His favorite male artist is Michael Jackson "because his style in music is unique and genius," Ledet would model his career like Jackson's because he was able to help so many people. His favorite female artist is Whitney Houston because of her voice. He would love to meet and sing with Fantasia Barrino as she is his favorite singer, and his dream song to sing is "I Will Always Love You". His musical influences include Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Fantasia Barrino, James Brown, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John. His favorite type of music to sing is soul but listening to music he prefers country music. When asked what was the most embarrassing song he listens to, he said Aqua's "Barbie Girl."
Ledet originally auditioned a year earlier (for the tenth season), but did not make it past the audition stage. It has been revealed he was dealing with personal and family issues including situations caused by Hurricane Rita and its aftermath. His American Idol journey has been seen as somewhat effortless by music critics who note his soul singing is exceptional but may not be contemporary enough, however he is one of the best singers within the last few years of AI. His performances have repeatedly earned him standing ovations and high praise from the judges. He says he combats stage fright by tuning everything out. George Huff (season three in 2004) is the only other Louisiana singer to make the top ten shows.
Ledet auditioned for the eleventh season of AI in Houston, Texas. He almost did not travel to compete due to his fear of flying. He has been dubbed "Mantasia", the male version of former Idol contestant Fantasia, by fans, the media and even Fantasia herself. For the semi-finals he performed Jennifer Hudson's "You Pulled Me Through". He was one of the top five male vote getters and advanced to the top 13. In the top 13, he performed Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" and was one of the bottom three male voter getters, but was declared safe.
Ledet earned his first standing ovation in Hollywood Round, Part 3 when he sang his version of Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. In the Top 8 round, Ledet earned his first standing ovation of the evening for his rendition of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes's "If You Don't Know Me by Now". His duet of George Michael and Aretha Franklin's "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" with fellow contestant Jessica Sanchez got a second standing ovation from the judges, prompting Jackson to declare "Two of the greatest singers to ever hit this competition ... This is one of the greatest performances I have seen on this show". He also performed It's a Man's Man's Man's World by James Brown, which was called "one of the best songs in the history of any singing competition," by Randy Jackson. Kris Allen, AI season eight winner, named the pair as his two favorites this season. During the top five show the judges gave Ledet the most praise of all the contestants for his versions of "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by The Temptations (for theme songs from the 1960s), and the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" (for theme British Pop). Ledet received a record 18 standing ovations from the judges, including his duet with Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino at Season 11 finale, the most of any AI contestant. He was eliminated on May 17, 2012, placing third overall with the lowest total of 90 million votes cast.
|Episode||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Result|
|Audition||Auditioner's Choice||"How Do I Live"||LeAnn Rimes||Advanced|
|Hollywood Round, Part 1||First Solo||Not aired|
|Hollywood Round, Part 2||Group Performance||"Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)"||Blu Cantrell|
|Hollywood Round, Part 3||Second Solo||"Jar of Hearts"||Christina Perri|
|Las Vegas Round||Songs from the 1950s
|"At the Hop" / "Blue Suede Shoes"
with Curtis Finch, Jr., Amber Holcomb & Shannon Magrane
|Danny & the Juniors / Carl Perkins|
|Final Judgment||Final Solo||"Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)"||Patty Griffin|
|Top 25 (13 Men)||Personal Choice||"You Pulled Me Through"||Jennifer Hudson||Advanced|
|Top 13||Stevie Wonder||"I Wish"||Stevie Wonder||Bottom 3 Men|
|Top 11||Year They Were Born||"When a Man Loves a Woman"||Percy Sledge||Safe|
|Top 10||Billy Joel||"She's Got a Way"||Billy Joel||Safe|
|Top 9||Their Personal Idols|| "The Lady in My Life" / "Rock with You" / "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
with DeAndre Brackensick & Heejun Han
|Top 8||Songs from the 1980s||"If You Don't Know Me by Now"||Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes||Safe|
| "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
with Jessica Sanchez
|Aretha Franklin & George Michael|
|Top 7||Songs from the 2010s||"Runaway Baby"||Bruno Mars||Bottom 3|
| "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
with Hollie Cavanagh & Jessica Sanchez
|Top 7||Songs from Now & Then||"I Believe"||Fantasia Barrino||Safe|
|"A Change Is Gonna Come"||Sam Cooke|
|Top 6||Queen||"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"||Queen||Safe|
|Contestant's Choice||"Ready for Love"||India Arie|
|Top 5||Songs from the 1960s|| "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
with Phillip Phillips
|The Righteous Brothers||Safe|
|"Ain't Too Proud to Beg"||The Temptations|
|British Pop||"To Love Somebody"||Bee Gees|
|Top 4||California Dreamin'||"You Raise Me Up"||Secret Garden||Safe|
| "This Love"
with Phillip Phillips
| "Waiting for a Girl Like You"
with Hollie Cavanagh, Phillip Phillips & Jessica Sanchez
|Songs They Wish They'd Written||"It's a Man's Man's Man's World"||James Brown|
|Top 3||Judges' Choice||"I'd Rather Go Blind"||Etta James||Eliminated|
|Contestant's Choice||"Imagine"||John Lennon|
|Jimmy Iovine's Choice||"No More Drama"||Mary J. Blige|
He took part in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2012, which began July 6, 2012 and ran till September 21, 2012. He is currently writing songs for his debut album. He was mentioned in Candice Glover's audition during the twelfth season of American Idol. He was also seen in the audience with Hollie Cavanagh during the Top 7 week, and was briefly interviewed. He and Hollie also made a cameo in the audience after Burnell Taylor was eliminated.
He performed "When a Man Loves a Woman" at the White House on April 9, 2013 at the "Memphis Soul" event. The show aired on April 16, at 8 p.m. EST on PBS.
On August 26, 2013, he released an original, self-written song called "Here to Die" through YouTube. It has gained praise from Rolling Stone, which urged record labels to give it a commercial release.
In 2015, Ledet started working on his new material as an independent artist. He recorded a single, "Love Can Do," which was written and produced by Bernie Herms. On March 6, 2015, Ledet performed the single on a local TV show in Indonesia. "Love Can Do" was released by Warner Music Indonesia on August 4, and will be released independently in the United States on September 18. Ledet is currently working on his first album, which will feature original songs written and performed by him.
Ledet performed "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" final episode of the fifteenth season of American Idol. Ledet will release a single, "City Fall".
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|American Idol Season 11 Highlights (Joshua Ledet EP)||