Kris Allen (II)





Jacksonville, Arkansas

Birth Name

Kristopher Neil Allen




Allen is a worship leader for New Life Church in Arkansas at both the Conway and Greater Little Rock campuses, and on campus at University of Central Arkansas with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. As a worship leader, he was able to travel on mission trips around the world, including Burma, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Spain, and Thailand.[3][4] On September 26, 2008, he married his high school sweetheart, Katy O'Connell.

After high school, Allen moved to Conway, Arkansas, to attend the University of Central Arkansas, where he was a business major and a member of Chi Alpha campus ministries.[7][9] He soon dropped out to pursue music professionally, performing in local bars and working as a shoe salesman to make ends meet.[10][11] After marrying his girlfriend of seven years, Allen planned on going back to college to finish his degree and "get a real job."[9][11] He has described his decision to audition for American Idol as a "last hurrah" before giving up his pursuit of a music career.[13]