Daughtry has become one of the most visible and consistent rock & roll torchbearers of the 21st Century. Since rising to prominence on the fifth season of American Idol, he has released four albums, all of which reached the Billboard Top Ten and have combined sales over 8 million copies in the U.S.

Daughtry’s self-titled debut was the best-selling album of 2007, which contained four Top Twenty hit singles including the Grammy-nominated smash “It’s Not Over.” Leave This Town also reached Number One in 2009, while 2011’s Break the Spell was certified gold. His group’s most recent record, 2013’s Baptized, featured the platinum-selling “Waiting for Superman,” which the singer points to as a turning point in his songwriting.

As the band continues work on its fifth album (which Daughtry describes in its early stages as having a “bluesy, almost rootsy undertone to it”), they look to contemporaries like Maroon 5 and Train as examples of acts able to maintain their relevance while rock & roll faces an uphill struggle in the mass media. “Those guys are inspirational, showing that you can come back and have a strong presence, even if what you’re known for doing is having a hard time,” he says.

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