According to Albany Uncovered, Phillip started playing music when he was 14, and is a frequent performer in Albany, Georgia, gigging with the band G&S or with his younger sister. In addition to singing, Phillip also plays the bass, piano, and drums. Phillip names Dave Matthews, Johnny Lang, Mumford & Sons, and Tool among his musical influences.
But American Idol certainly wasn't been an easy road for Phillip: He was plagued with kidney problems during his time on the show. Despite the pain he's was in, Phillip soldiered through and even underweent surgery after the finale show.
Pitted against pint-sized diva Jessica Sanchez in the Top 2, it was difficult to choose between the two formidable finalists. But Phillip's performance of the original song "Home" during the first half of the Idol finale all but proved that he had a serious chance of taking home the crown.
On May 23, 2012, a record 132 million votes declared Phillip the winner of American Idol Season 11! He reprised his winning song at the end of the finale but teared up before finishing the song. As the backing band continued playing the closing strains of "Home," Phillip left the Idol stage to hug his family in the audience. It was an emotional end to a long yet worthwhile journey for the talented singer.