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'Idol' finalist to perform in Hagerstown

November 01, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Another "American Idol" Season 5 singer is coming to The Maryland Theatre - soul singer Elliott Yamin.

The "Idol" finalist will perform in Hagerstown on Monday night.

On the reality show, Yamin, 29, of Richmond, Va., shared the stage with Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks, who performed at The Maryland Theatre in July. Yamin finished second runner-up.

Unlike the gray-haired "Idol" winner, who told the Herald-Mail he would deliver "high-impact soul aerobics" (which he later described as "James Brown meets Richard Simmons") at his Hagerstown concert, Yamin's live show will likely veer toward the smoother end of the soul-singer spectrum - think covers of Donny Hathaway tunes and songs by Frankie Beverly and Maze.

Since "Idol," Yamin has been touring, promoting his music and adjusting to post-TV fame. He's released two albums so far and is working on new material while he's on the road.

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"On TV, I evolved in front of such a vast audience. I think people really connected with me, so people feel like they know me," said Yamin in a phone interview. "That's kind of weird."

Even though he didn't win, Yamin says "Idol" gave him the opportunity of a lifetime, including the chance to meet Wonder, who was a guest artist on the show.

"That's something I'll take to the grave with me," Yamin said.

Yamin said he was such a Stevie Wonder fan that, when he was young, he tried to sing like him. Wonder still influences his music today.

So, when the moment of truth had finally arrived - meeting and singing for his own American idol - how did Yamin do?

"I didn't feel like I said all that I wanted to say. The cat kind of got my tongue," Yamin said. "I felt like a clown, a klutz. I was so nervous."

Yamin is able to maintain his confidence on stage. If asked to choose between the recording booth or the stage, Yamin said he will always choose to perform before an audience.

"I'm not a fan of my recorded voice. I'd rather sing live," Yamin said.

At The Maryland Theatre show, he will sing with a band and back-up singers. He shuns singing over taped recordings at concerts.

"I'd never do that," Yamin said. "I'm a real, live singer."

Despite that, Yamin released two albums this year. His debut album, self-titled, was released in March. He also has a holiday album, "NBC Sounds of The Season: The Elliott Yamin Holiday Collection," that hit shelves earlier this month. The album will be sold exclusively at Target.

Yamin's music can be heard at his Myspace page, www.myspace.com/elliottyamin.




If you go ...



WHAT: Elliott Yamin

WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

COST: $30, $40 and $50

MORE: For tickets, call The Maryland Theatre box office at 301-790-2000 or visit the theater's Web site, www.mdtheatre.org. Get the latest news on Elliott Yamin at www.myspace.com/elliottyamin.

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