Ruben Studdard

Biography

Partway through the second American Idol in early 2003, guest judge Gladys Knight christened corpulent crooner Ruben Studdard a "velvet teddy bear," a nod to his smooth, Luther Vandross-styled voice and his Barry White-sized girth. It was a nickname that stuck, since it captured the persona of the 25-year-old Birmingham, AL, native who had unexpectedly become the front-runner in the national...