The music scene

Ruben Studdard talks life after ‘Idol,’ ‘The Biggest Loser’

 
Jason Kempin / Getty Images for BET

Ruben Studdard went from the biggest winner to the biggest loser.

No, that’s not a dis. It’s reality. Well, reality TV.

He won American Idol in 2003 (sorry, Clay Aiken), and last fall, he landed on The Biggest Loser, dropping 119 pounds but, alas, not making it to the finals in February.

So which of those TV shows was more important in his life?

“I most definitely have to say American Idol,” Studdard told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“There would have come a time in my life when I would have had to deal with my health issues whether I was on a sick bed or passed out somewhere. I thank God that wasn’t the case. I think Idol was so important to me because it helped me have faith in the impossible.”

Losing all that weight — he was 462 pounds when he jumped on the scales for Biggest Loser last October — has enabled him to make it through the off-stage tasks.

“The weight loss most definitely gives me the energy to do the things that I have to do both before and after the show,” the 6-foot-3 singer said. “Most people don’t understand that our jobs don’t end after we get off of the stage. There are meet-and-greets and CD signings and things people expect in addition to the performance that I have to do.”

While on tour, Studdard still likes to hit the gym.

“I try to work out every day. Maybe an hour, hour and a half,” he said. “It’s mostly cardio because you need endurance. I do that at least six times a week. I have made it a part of my lifestyle.”

He'll need the endurance, touring with fellow R&B star Lalah Hathaway. “We'll do some duets, we'll some songs separately, we'll bring each other off and on the stage,” Studdard said from Malaysia, where he was performing with hitmaker David Foster. “I think people will love our voices together.”

Studdard’s music career has had its ups and downs. He’s actually put out six albums in 10 years but America, as Ryan Seacrest might say, may not know it.

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