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Meet Arthur Gunn: 5 Facts About ‘American Idol’ Frontrunner From Nepal

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

Arthur Gunn auditions for "American Idol"

Season 18 of American Idol has introduced us to some amazing talent so far, including 20-year-old Arthur Gunn. The Nepali immigrant made a big impression on the judges in his audition.


Read on to find out more about Arthur, including his real name, how he became interested in music, and where you can hear more from him.

5 Facts About ‘American Idol’ Star Arthur Gunn

His Real Name Isn’t Arthur Gunn

Arthur was born in Kathmandu, Nepal. His real name is Dibesh Pokharel, but he chooses to go by the stage name Arthur Gunn. “I am fascinated with ‘Art’ in every form and the outcome it can create,” he said of his name choice in a 2019 interview.

Arthur moved with his family to Wichita, Kansas, about six years ago. In his interview before his American Idol audition, the singer called America “the land of great opportunity.”


https://www.instagram.com/p/B4nP6jJh8W0/

Moving To Kansas Influenced Arthur’s Music

Arthur grew up singing and received his first guitar as a gift from his mother when he was a kid. He used to sing along with songs on the radio and television when he was younger.

Arthur says he got into “bluegrass and country” after moving to Kansas. “I hadn’t listened to those kinds of music before, but I was, like, pulled towards it,” he explained.

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When asked in an interview who his influences were, Arthur said, “Musicians like John Martyn, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Bukka White, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker are some although most of them are dead.”

He’s Already Released An Album

Arthur released his first album Grahan in 2018, and later went on tour. The title refers to “day and night, the sun and the moon.” He says it was important to include Nepali lyrics on the album.

Later, Arthur released three more singles called “Ma,” “Khoj” and “Karnali (The River).”  You can listen to his music on Spotify. Check out the music video for “Ma” above.

He Has Over 100,000 Subscribers On YouTube

Arthur’s following has grown since his appearance on American Idol. Earlier this month, he was reported to have 22,000 YouTube subscribers. That has since grown to over 100,000.

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The singer’s channel features videos of both original music and covers. Since his episode aired, Arthur has posted full versions of his audition songs, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and “Girl From the North Country” by Bob Dylan.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3iF-ghhbRm/

Luke Bryan Asked Arthur To Open For Him

Arthur wowed the judges during his audition on American Idol earlier this month. They obviously voted to give him a golden ticket and send him to Hollywood. But Luke Bryan had another offer for the singer.

“You wanna open for me in Detroit, Michigan, in two weeks?” Luke asked Arthur. The 20-year-old just laughed along, and it doesn’t look like the suggested gig actually happened. Still, it’s an impressive offer and shows just how in-demand Arthur is likely to be even if he doesn’t win American Idol.

It also likely eased Arthur’s nerves during his audition. “I’ve had a little bit of nervousness,” he said in an interview, “but I always believed in my music and believed in myself that I could do it.”

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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