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Arkansas native Kris Allen took home the coveted title of 'American Idol' during the show's eighth season, a season that shook up the show's long-time original format.
Adding acclaimed songwriter Kara DioGuardi to the judging panel, making her a fourth judge, Allen had another set of eyes on him throughout the course of the season, and was crowned the winner in May 2009. His self-titled debut album hit stores in November that year and came in at number 11 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the lowest debut at the time for any 'Idol' champion. Following the release of the album, Allen went on to tour the country, opening for established acts such as Maroon 5, Keith Urban and Lifehouse. Allen released his second album, 'Thank You Camellia,' in 2012.
In January 2013, Allen and his wife, Katy O'Connell, were involved in a car accident and also announced that they were expecting a baby. The couple welcomed a baby boy, Oliver Neil Allen, on July 30, 2013.
(Pictured: Kris Allen performing on the Dec. 8, 2009 episode of FOX's 'So You Think You Can Dance.')
( Photo / Kelsey McNeal/ FOX)