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One of the most likable singers on the third season of the nationally televised talent contest American Idol, George Huff remained in the public eye as a vocalist who alternated between mature R&B and contemporary gospel. Born into poverty in New Orleans, Huff was either in school or at church in his younger years. He began singing at church when he was five and it took only a little word of mouth before he was receiving invitations to sing in neighboring churches. In later years, he attended the University of Oklahoma on a full music scholarship, but by the middle of his junior year, the scholarship had been exhausted and George was running out of funds. Taking a chance in hopes of raising the money to finish school, Huff traveled to Houston when the American Idol auditions arrived in the city. He nailed the audition, competed on the show, and made it to the Top Five before being voted off. After Huff completed a 50-city American Idol tour, the singer considered his options. Offers from four different record companies were on the table, but he chose the Christian music label Word. His 2004 release My Christmas EP! was followed a year later by his debut full-length, Miracles. Both titles reached number eight on Billboard's gospel chart. After his hometown was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, Huff participated in numerous fundraising events and concerts. A self-titled second album of contemporary gospel was released on Koch in 2009. Though he didn't release any albums for the next several years, Huff continued to perform and frequently sang backup for fellow Idol album Jennifer Hudson. During the mid-2010s, he independently released the R&B singles "I Want You" and "Loving You (The Right Way)." ~ David Jeffries & Andy Kellman