American Idol visits Vail Valley |

American Idol visits Vail Valley

Caramie Schnell
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyDavid Cook won the seventh season of American Idol and returned at the end of season 8, less than three weeks after his brother's death, to sing

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Less than 24 hours after losing his brother Adam to brain cancer, David Cook ran the Race for Hope in the nation’s capital to honor his older sibling.

After the race, Cook spoke to the cheering crowd gathered in support of brain tumor research.

“Like everyone here, I’m affected by the disease,” Cook said in a video of the event posted on YouTube. “I actually lost my brother yesterday to a brain tumor.”

Choked up, Cook paused for a few moments.

“I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now,” he said.

Cook, 25, talked about the difficulty of that speech during a phone interview this week.

“I actually flip flopped on (telling people about his brother’s death) a lot,” Cook said. “It came down to yeah, my brother is gone, but a lot of people are still fighting and my brother would have wanted me to do it.”

Cook won the seventh season of American Idol and returned at the end of season 8, less than three weeks after his brother’s death, to sing “Permanent.” He wrote the song with Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida especially for Adam and it was one of the last songs he finished for his new, self-titled album.

“It was one of those things where we got in the studio and the song came across exactly as it was in my head, it was a really cool moment,” he said.

Proceeds from the live “charity single,” which was available through iTunes, went to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to finding a cure for brain cancer.

Cook visits Beaver Creek for the first time – he said he’s never been to Colorado – on Sunday night for a concert at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Concert attendees will almost assuredly hear the song.

Kris Sabel, the Vilar Center’s executive director, said adding Cook to the summer lineup was an easy decision.

“The whole American Idol thing appeals to such a broad group of people and because they were interested in getting a lot of exposure, we were able to keep the ticket price very affordable – it’s a great opportunity,” Sabel said.

Cook enjoyed a homecoming this week when he performed a show in Tulsa, Okla. After graduating from the University of Central Missouri in 2006 with a degree in graphic design, Cook moved to Tulsa to pursue a career in music. He told his family he wanted to give himself until he was 26 years old to get a job.

“Being there yesterday, seeing friends, it was a trip man. I had that nostalgic feeling and was thinking to myself, oh my God, it wasn’t long ago I was here and couldn’t afford my $200 a month rent.”

While Cook was living in Tulsa, working as a bartender to support himself, his younger brother Andrew asked him to go to Omaha with him and try out for American Idol. Both the boys tried out and and while Andrew didn’t make the cut, Cook, of course, did.

If he’d never made that fateful trip to Nebraska, Cook is pretty sure he’d still be living in Tulsa.

“I’d probably be doing the same thing I was doing before – bartending and playing music and trying to get people to pay attention.”

And as far as any potential “Idol stigma” that might color his career, Cook is having none of it.

“I don’t get it. (American Idol) is an opportunity for people who may not have had the chance to be heard and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

“I get to do what I love for a living,” Cook said. “Even if it’s just for a minute, I’m extremely fortunate.”

Who: David Cook

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

When: 8 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $40. A few tickets are still available.

More information: Call 970-845-TIXS or visit

High Life editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at

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