Thirty year old Chris Klafford, a long haired, burley singer from Sweden impressed the judges on the last audition episode of America’s Got Talent which aired Tuesday (July 9) on NBC. The singer shared with the judges how he eschewed a spot in the family business in order to pursue a career in the music business. He struggled, playing small clubs and bars to make ends meet.
But what Chris DID NOT mention? He WON Swedish Idol in 2017. While the singer performed “Imagine” for the America’s Got Talent judges Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough and Simon Cowell, he ALSO sang the John Lennon classic for his Swedish Idol audition. The performance was so popular, he reprised it on the final.
According to Wikipedia, his musical career after Idol was pretty impressive–at odds with AGT’s depiction of Chris as a starving artist:
He’s by far the most successful winner in years with a total of three top five singles on national radio in a year and more than 35 million streams, platinum sales and sold out concerts. He’s the only winner having both the #1 and #7 most streaming singles at the same time.
It’s more likely that Chris wants to extend his reach outside of Sweden’s tiny music scene. But the struggling artist narrative is a heck of a lot sexier. Amiright?
The AGT judges loved his performance. Simon noted Chris’ emotion, and how much the performance meant to him. “You wore your heart on your sleeve,” said Howie. “It was amazing,” he said. Gabrielle was “blown away” by his talent. Julianne said, “I felt your heart, and I felt your passion. That’s what art is.” Simon added, “I love people who can reinterpret a song. You did something special with it. It was incredible.” Four yeses means the guitar strummer moves on to the Judge Cuts round, which begin next week.
For his part, Chris was blown away. Surely, performing in front of an American audience is a huge step up from Swedish TV.
Here is Chris’s America’s Got Talent performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine”:
And Chris performing “Imagine” on the Swedish Idol finale.
More songs Chris performed on Swedish Idol: Bryan Adam’s “Heaven,” Mumford and Sons “I Will Wait,” Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive,” Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” and more. There are tons of performances from the series at this link. That must have been a very long season!
Hozier’s Take Me To Church
Drake’s Hotline Bling
Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game
Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.
OF COURSE HE SANG THE ASTEROID SONG.
Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to The Moon
And his Winners Single Treading Water