7 Things to Know About ‘American Idol’ Season 16 Winner Caleb Lee Hutchinson

Corey Cesare
Jack Tomas
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Caleb Lee Hutchinson won American Idol in 2018 and has been a rising country artist ever since. In the competition, he proved to America that he had what it takes to be the next superstar. Here’s seven things to know about American Idol winner Caleb Lee Hutchinson in 2022.


Hutchinson impressed the judges as soon as he took to the American Idol stage for the first time. He shined bright in the competition because of his talent and the fact that there was a lack of country artists in the season. Since winning the series, he’s gone on to find his place in the country music industry.

1. He Was Only 18 Years Old at The Time of His Audition

It feels like just yesterday Hutchinson was just crowned as the winner of American Idol season 16. At the time of his win, he was only 19 years old. In 2022, It’s been nearly four years since he won American Idol and he’s still on the road to great success in country music at 23 years old.

2. He’s Inspired By Old Country Artists

Hutchinson has an old soul when it comes to country music. He mostly found inspiration from the old country music icons.


“Music was always my main interest. I never grew up wanting to be anything else. Early on I saw videos of Johnny Cash, and Elvis, and all the greats like that,” he said.

The singer shared that he used to listen to the same music that his dad showed him in his childhood. He referenced other artists as Merle Haggard and Hank Jr. Once he grew up more he began listening to music that helped him form his identity. He always knew that he wanted to pursue music.

3. He’s Dating Fellow American Idol Alum, Maddie Poppe

Maddie Poppe and Hutchinson met when they were both competing on the 16th season of American Idol. They finished out the season as winner and runner up, and revealed that they were dating in the finale. This couple has quickly become one of the most popular couples to come from the competition. On multiple occasion the two have talked about how they see forever with one another.


4. He Released Music Before American Idol

Before ever stepping foot on the American Idol stage, Hutchinson had already released an album called simply Country Music. Since competing on idol, this song album was removed from streaming. In 2022, his first release on streaming is his original single “Johnny Cash Heart” from American Idol.

5. He Found His Love of Music at a Young Age

As most artists on talent shows do, Hutchinson found his love for music at a young age. As previously mentioned, he found inspiration from the music his father showed him in his childhood. Since loving that music, he began singing at only nine years old. He then began playing guitar at 12 and writing his own music at 13.

6. He Auditioned for The Voice First

When Hutchinson made it into the American Idol Top 3, Emily Ann Roberts from The Voice revealed that he auditioned for that show as well. Roberts finished out season nine of The Voice as the season runner up. To celebrate her friend making it into the Top 3 of American Idol, she posted a photo of them together. The caption of the photo explained that she met Hutchinson at the audition of other series. She share that none of the coaches turned their chairs for him.

Reports state that he auditioned for the other series at only 16 years old. At the time of his audition he performed “The Dance” by Garth Brooks.

7. He’s Still Considered a Rising Country Star

After nearly four years, Hutchinson is considered a rising star in the country music industry. Even though he won the show and continued to work hard, he hasn’t quite found his spot yet. His recent EP, Slot Machine Syndrome, debuted on the US Albums chart as No. 81 and peaked at that position.

It’s not the highest number possible for the young singer, but it’s a great start. Even though he’s shown off his great talent, he hasn’t skyrocketed to fame just yet. This country artist’s instagram is filled with plenty of photos from recent live performances.

8. He Lost Over 70 lbs During The Competition

Fans were surprise to see that Hutchinson went through a major transformation during his American Idol season. The singer wasn’t quiet about the fact that he had been losing weight amid the vocal competition. He attributed his weight loss during his journey to the fact that he chose to drink water and walk every night.

The singer has shared that he always was overweight and imagined he would grow out of it in his adult life. To lose the weight, he decided to start with short term goals like cutting out fast food and all drinks except for water. The singer changed his meal habits entirely and brought more physical activity into his life. After the series concluded, Hutchinson shared that he lost 85 pounds in total.

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