SALT LAKE CITY (The Blaze/AP) — American Idol runner-up David Archuleta says he will take a break from his singing career to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The contestant from the 2007-2008 season made the announcement during a Christmas concert Monday in downtown Salt Lake City. The Deseret News reports that the 20-year-old Utah resident says he’s not quitting music, but feels a strong call to serve the church. Deseret has more:
After the initial storm of applause, Archuleta said serving an LDS mission was his choice.
“It’s not because someone told me that I’m supposed to do it, and not because I no longer want to do music, but because it’s the feeling that I’ve felt I need to do this with my life,” he said.
Archuleta is well-known for in 2007, at age 16, having been one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol. He finished the season as the runner-up.
A video of the concert on Archuleta’s website shows him crying as he tells the crowd about his plans:
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins confirmed Archuleta’s mission on Tuesday, but declined to say where the singer will serve.
More than 52,000 church members currently are serving full-time missions worldwide. Most are men between the ages of 19 and 21.