Denver singer uses American Idol experience to launch career

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DENVER -- Season 13 of American Idol is underway on FOX, and thousands of hopeful going before the judges are hoping to get that ticket to Hollywood. One local singer knows exactly what they’re going through.

Amanda Hawkins was on Season 7 of American Idol. She says she learned a lot from that process and she’s using that to launch her career here in Denver.

“I was in music school in 2007 and I was like, ‘I might as well just try and see how far I get’.”

Round after round, she advanced.

“Simon was a little cranky, but in the end they were all pretty nice to me,” she said.

Amanda made it to the Top 50 before being eliminated, but she is still hard at work chasing her dreams.

“I’m gigging again, and I’m writing new music and I’m hoping to establish myself here in Denver so I can take it on the road with me and hopefully go national,” she said.

She’s playing top Denver venues like the Bluebird, and all of this even after a scare with two vocal cord surgeries in the last year.

“There was a polyp on my vocal cord, it [could have] burst and my chords would scar and I would never sound the same.”

Another hurdle wasn’t going to set her back. Hawkins is working harder than ever and hasn’t lost sight of her Idol roots.

“I recently opened for Lee DeWyze, who won in 2010,” she said. “He was incredible, he’s an amazing guy, amazing talent.”

Years after, she still thinks about her time on the show.

“The experience stuck with me.”

It’s one more motivator on her way to success.

“I hope to move people that the artists I listen to have moved me.”

Hawkins is currently with a label and expects to release her first single soon.