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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.
but instead was persuaded to audition for American Idol along with his brother Daniel and his friend Cale Mills.
Kris stated that "If I had not made it through in American Idol, I would have gone back to college and gotten my business degree." Allen realized during college that he wanted to play music professionally and began trying to write music.
He played his first gig at a local bar in downtown Conway during his sophomore year, and he went on to drop out of college in the middle of his junior year to follow his dream of becoming a professional musician.
The album's lead single, "Live Like We're Dying", was released on September 21, 2009, and peaked at number eighteen in the U. Allen released his fifth studio album, Letting You In, on March 18, 2016. He began playing the viola in elementary school and went on to play the instrument in the Mills University Studies High School orchestra, eventually winning a spot in the Arkansas all-state orchestra.
Allen's second major-label album Thank You Camellia was released on May 22, 2012, and the lead single "The Vision of Love" was released March 26, 2012.
On June 7, 2009, Allen performed the National Anthem at Game 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals to a packed house including Adam Levine, Jack Nicholson, Rihanna, Paula Abdul and Leonardo Di Caprio.
Following the performance, which was described as "executed to perfection," Kris Allen was released on November 17, 2009.
Allen also became the first winner to accept a trophy shaped like a microphone.During the final results show, he performed a duet with Keith Urban, singing Urban's single "Kiss a Girl", as well as a series of medleys with his fellow Season 8 contestants.Before the results were announced, Allen performed "We Are the Champions" with eventual runner-up Adam Lambert and Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen.However, during the Top 3 results show, host Ryan Seacrest had revealed that the margin between Allen and Lambert was fewer than a million votes.Fox and AT&T have stated that they "stand by the outcome" and are "absolutely certain" that "Kris Allen is the American Idol".