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Award-winning singer Phillip Phillips to perform at UW-Eau Claire May 6

April 12, 2013
Phillips Phillips
Gin Wigmore
Gin Wigmore

EDITOR'S NOTE: As of April 16, tickets for the May 6 Phillip Phillips performance at UW-Eau Claire are sold out.

EAU CLAIRE — Singer-guitarist Phillip Phillips — winner of the 11th season of the Fox television series "American Idol" — will appear in concert May 6 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the show, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Ojibwe Ballroom of Davies Center. New Zealand singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore will be special guest. Due to the intimate concert setting, only 1,100 tickets will be sold.

An advance ticket sale for UW-Eau Claire students only will take place April 16, beginning at 8 a.m. at Zorn Arena. At 5 p.m. the advance sale will move to the Service Center in Davies Center, which is open until 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 for UW-Eau Claire students, and purchasers must present a valid student Blugold Card. No more than four tickets will be sold to each UW-Eau Claire student during the advance sale.

Tickets will go on sale to the public at 7 a.m. April 17 at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center. General admission tickets are $15 ($10 for UW-Eau Claire students), with a limit of four tickets per purchaser. Patrons also may charge their tickets to Discover, MasterCard or Visa when they purchase online or order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all online and telephone charge orders.

The same day in May 2012 that Phillip Phillips claimed his "American Idol" victory, the 22-year-old from Georgia released "Home," a debut single that showcases his rich vocals and guitar skills. It marked the biggest opening sales week for an "Idol" winner's coronation song. The track went triple platinum, was used as the soundtrack for the 2012 U.S. Olympics Women's Gymnastics Team and became the unofficial theme for Hurricane Sandy relief.

Phillips began 2013 with a gold album, his first: "The World from the Side of the Moon." Released in November 2012, it made its debut at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Album Chart. In January his second single from the album was released — "Gone, Gone, Gone."

Phillips began making music when he was 14, thanks largely to his older sister's boyfriend (now husband), Ben Neil, who taught him how to play guitar. Phillips kept studying guitar on his own and soon mastered riffs from classic-rock tracks like Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train." Phillips later formed an acoustic band with his sister and brother-in-law and added singing to his repertoire.

After graduating from high school, Phillips studied industrial systems technology at Albany Technical College in Georgia and continued playing music with his brother-in-law. Encouraged by his family and friends, Phillips took a break from working in his family's pawn shop and auditioned for "American Idol" in summer 2011 — and soon found himself tearing through powerful, full-throated performances of songs by artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett on the "Idol" stage.

"I'm still so amazed at how this has worked out," Phillips said. "I knew I'd always have music no matter what happens, but I never imagined that it would get to this level. I'm so excited to just get going and have a great time doing it."

After being featured on the season 12 premiere of "American Idol" in January, Phillips went on the road with Matchbox 20 for a string of 20 dates.

Gin (for Virginia) Wigmore, a singer-songwriter since age 12, is a sensation in New Zealand. At age 18, she won out over 11,000 other entrants at the International Songwriting Competition in the U.S. with "Hallelujah," a song she wrote two years earlier in response to her father's death. A self-titled EP featuring "Hallelujah" went multiplatinum in New Zealand, and was soon followed by Wigmore's debut album, "Holy Smoke," recorded with Ryan Adams' band The Cardinals. After it debuted at No. 1 in New Zealand, four of its songs were simultaneously in the Top 40 chart. Five times platinum, "Holy Smoke" was named Best Pop Album at the 2010 New Zealand Music Awards and Wigmore was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

Wigmore's sophomore album, "Gravel and Wine," went three times platinum with a No. 1 debut in her homeland. It was released in the United States in April, and songs have already been heard in nationwide TV and radio campaigns for Heineken, Guinness, Lowe's and on national network television shows.

The concert is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

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JS/DW

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