The winner of the seventh season of Fox's American Idol competition, David Cook is a rock-oriented vocalist with a bent toward a commercial post-grunge sound. Although born in Houston, Texas in 1982, Cook grew up in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he first began singing in various elementary-school concerts. The budding musician then participated in his high-school drama program and appeared in many musical productions. During his junior year of high school, Cook formed the band Axium along with a classmate and performed with the group throughout his college years, even releasing two independently produced albums that garnered some national recognition. Although he attended the University of Central Missouri on a theater scholarship, Cook switched degree programs after two years and studied graphic design instead. After graduating in 2006, he parted ways with Axium and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to pursue his musical interests. While there, he worked as a bartender and performed with the band the Midwest Kings.