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May 4, 2009
'American Idol': Sad news for David Cook

KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/Associated Press file

It was an emotional weekend for David Cook, 26, winner of last season's "American Idol." On Saturday, his older brother, Adam, 37, passed away after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. And, just as David often mentioned his brother on "Idol," he paid tribute to him on Sunday after serving as grand marshal at the Race for Hope 5K in Washington, D.C.

According to People magazine, David said he couldn't imagine being "anywhere else right now."

"I lost one today, but I gained 9,000 (race participants), and I will be here every year that they will have me."

One of the most memorable moments from last season's show was when Adam was able to make the trip to Hollywood to see David perform "Always Be My Baby." Fans will recall that when David played his guitar, his brothers initials were displayed on the instrument. Then, on the finale, Adam joined his mom, Beth Foraker (pictured), on the stage after David was named the winner.

Judge Simon Cowell told the magazine that he had met Adam Cook a few times during the show. "He was an incredible guy, and right now my thoughts are with David and his family."

As "Idol" fans, we were lucky to have David perform on this year's show. You couldn't ask for a classier, talented act.

And speaking of former "Idols," Chris Daughtry, a Season 5 contestant (he finished fourth), will return to the stage for Wednesday night's live results show. (No Doubt also will perform.) He and his band - Daughtry - will debut their new single "No Surprise."

In a statement, Chris says, " 'American Idol' fans have been so loyal to this band, we wanted to give them the first listen to our new single."

Chris joins a fun mix of past "Idol" contestants who have performed this season, including winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks and David C. And, wisely, the show also has brought back popular contestants who didn't win the title, including Brooke White, Kellie Pickler, Jennifer Hudson and last season's runner-up David Archuletta.

Tuesday night, the Final 4 contestants will be rockin' to "Rock 'n' Roll Week." Former Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash is the mentor. This should be a cinch for both Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert. I can already hear Allison taking on something from Heart. As always, it's hard to predict what Adam might spring on us. After being somewhat disappointed with his performance of "Feelin' Good" last week (and being in the bottom 3 for the first time), I can see him really revving it up with some Aerosmith, Journey, Rolling Stones - even the Eagles - though Kris Allen could also tackle the latter group's material.

As for Danny Gokey, he's now the one to chase because he's never had a bottom 3 target on his back. This should also be a good musical genre for him, and he's going into the competition with a lot of confidence. With more than 47 million votes cast last week (up 9 million or so from the previous week), holding on to their fan bases is crucial for the remaining contestants, and there likely will be two phone lines for each of them.

Oh, and one last "Idol" note. Elliott Yamin (Season 5) will debut his second album, "Fight for Love," in stores tomorrow.

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