Christopher Ruben Studdard (born September 12, 1978) is an American R&B, pop and gospel singer and actor. He rose to fame as winner of the second season of American Idol and received a Grammy Award nomination in 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his recording of “Superstar”. In the years following Idol, Studdard has released seven studio albums, including his platinum-selling debut, Soulful, and the top-selling gospel follow-up, I Need an Angel. He is most well known for his recording career, which has produced hits including “Flying Without Wings“, “Sorry 2004“, and “Change Me”, but he has also segued into television and stage work. Most notably, he starred as Fats Waller in a national tour revival of Ain’t Misbehavin’,which spawned a Grammy-nominated soundtrack.
In 2013, Studdard appeared as a contestant on the fifteenth season of weight-loss competition show The Biggest Loser. He later signed to Verve Records and collaborated with the label’s chairman, David Foster, on Studdard’s sixth studio album, Unconditional Love, in 2014. That album received strong reviews as a return-to-form and included a tour with Lalah Hathaway. In 2018, Studdard, who has long been compared to R&B singer Luther Vandross, released a cover album called Ruben Sings Luther and launched his Always & Forever national tour.