MEMPHIAN BEAU DAVIDSON, A FIXTURE ON CMT’S “THE SINGING BEE,” NAMED ONE OF “OUTSTANDING YOUNG AMERICANS.”
When he’s not performing on CMT’s “The Singing Bee,” writing and recording songs or acting, Beau Davidson makes personal appearances around the country.
“I was handling alligators this morning and I’m kind of taking a break,” said Davidson, 32, during a recent phone interview. He was holding some albino gators at an alligator farm in Houma, La. Later that week he sang his original song, “Blessed,” at an early Independence Day celebration on the grounds of Houma’s Civic Center.
A native Memphian now living in Nashville, Davidson recently was named one of the United States Jaycees “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2013. For 75 years, the Jaycees have honored men and women under age 40 who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging young leaders. Past recipients include presidents John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Teddy Roosevelt and entertainers Pat Boone and Wayne Newton.
Another honoree was Elvis Presley, whose singing style heavily influenced Davidson. Elvis’ award is on display at Graceland.
I want my voice to be known for substance, for quality. I’m classically trained. I’d like for people 100 years from now to be talking about me as opposed to two months from now.”
“It’s all banged up,” Davidson said. “He brought it everywhere he went. It honored him as a citizen, a humanitarian. (He wasn’t) just looked at as a singer.”
“Like Elvis, Beau was not chosen as an honoree due to his accomplishments and his
chosen industry,” said Laura Chesney-Gadd, Ten Outstanding Young Americans director. “Rather, the impact he has made and continues to make raising awareness and engaging first-time voters in the political process and being recognized for all the philanthropic endeavors, like his support of colon cancer awareness, supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, military veterans awareness and Fashion for EveryBODY, an organization for fighting eating disorders in Tennessee.”
Davidson, who performed at campaign events for presidential candidate Mitt Romney and was on the advisory board of a coalition called “Young Americans for Romney,” gave a speech at the Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award ceremony in Seattle. “I talked about how we had an obligation as young Americans to continue passing the torch to a new generation because it has been passed to us,” he said.
He wrote “Blessed” for a Veterans Day episode of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” on which he played himself. “The opening lines of the song are ‘What is courage and what is honor? Are these words or just ideals long forgotten?’”
Davidson sings about “freedom, glory, honor and service” and asks, “Do these words still exist or are they antiquated terms that have been passed down to us in stories?”
The song goes on to say that people in the U.S. are blessed to have freedom, food, shelter and a voice. “We have a unique understanding of liberty that two-thirds of the world does not.”
Davidson performed “Blessed” on the soap in front of an audience of military veterans. “There were actually real tears coming out of these people who’d never heard of me or my song.”
The song also was used in a Fourth of July Boston Pops concert. “It gets a lot of plays during military holidays, Memorial Day and Veterans Day, in particular.”
He also made a video to “Blessed,” which featured veterans of all branches of the military. The video premiered on July 4, 2012.
Singing along at age 2 to a Michael Jackson recording of “Billie Jean” is Davidson’s earliest memory of performing. He later competed in the Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Contest, making it to the finals. Following his graduation from Memphis University School, he attended Northwestern University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in vocal performance/opera and political science.
In 2008, Davidson moved to Los Angeles, where he guest-starred on “Days of Our Lives” and “Gilmore Girls.” He also wrote music and released a digital EP, The Good I can do to hang on for life and try to enjoy the ride. Hurt. His debut single, “More Than I Can Give,” was integrated in the online streaming libraries of MTV, VH1, CMT and Great American Country.
Davidson got his start on “The Singing Bee” through music composer Steve Dorff, who also is the show’s music director. “He took an interest in me and my talent. He suggested me to the network when a spot became available, and I got it. He knew about me through social media. I sent him a message about the fact he did a lot of musical scores and Broadway composing, which I’m involved in. I said, ‘ You’re a guy I need to meet.’ He responded and we struck up a friendship. This is an example of where social media can lead to professional success.”
Davidson recorded “Tear Down All the Walls,” one of Dorff’s compositions.
“He did great,” Dorff Read more from him at uurrff. blogspot.com. Become a fan of “Because I Said So” on Facebook: facebook.com/alleygreenberg. said. “On top of his attitude and positive energy, he’s an enormous talent and has a great singing voice and personality. And I think those are all the things that create a perfect storm for someone’s who’s going to be highly successful.”
On the show, Davidson sings a portion of a particular song and the contestant has to perfectly fill in the next phrase or the rest of the song. Davidson has to cover material “as early as Bob Dylan and as current as Justin Bieber.”
Davidson isn’t supposed to “mimic the artist who originated the song;” he has to bring his own artistry to it. “Your voice is important, but your look is too. You’re reading a teleprompter, but there’s a lot of camera and eye contact. They want to make sure you’re just as much a performer as you are a vocalist.”
Davidson, who hones his opera chops by recording arias and art songs he sang in college and releasing them on social media, said, “I want my voice to be known for substance, for quality. I’m classically trained. I’d like for people 100 years from now to be talking about me as opposed to two months from now.”
He keeps i n shape, working out three to five times a week. “I’m lucky I’m predisposed to being thin. My diet is pretty good. I do love sweets. I love seafood. I love chicken. For the soaps, they expect when you come in there to have a great physique.”
In 2009, Davidson was included as one of the 51 Hottest Bachelors in Cosmopolitan magazine. He still gets stopped on the street by people who recognize him from that magazine.
“I just got an e-mail f rom Cosmopolitan. They’re running a thing about the Cosmo Bachelor All Stars. They were wondering what I’ve been up to. I might have my shirt off, so I’d better be in shape if they feature me in that magazine again.”
Memphis native Beau Davidson has been singing since age 2, and is also a songwriter and actor.
COURTESY BEAU DAVIDSON For the video to his song “Blessed,” Beau Davidson featured veterans of all branches of the military. The video premiered on July 4, 2012.
Past recipients of the U. S. Jaycees honor include Elvis Presley, whose singing style has influenced Beau Davidson.