"American Idol" Marine promotes album release in New York City

25 Jun 2004 | Cpl. Beth Zimmerman

"I wanna cry like the rain...shine like the sun on a beautiful mornin'...sing to the heavens like a church bell ringin', fight with the devil and go down swingin'..."Fans across the country can now sing the lyrics from the country single "I Want to Live," along with Lance Cpl. Josh Gracin, courtesy of their CD players.An "American Idol 2" fourth-place finisher and an active duty Marine, Josh Gracin released his self-titled debut CD June 15 on Lyric Street Records. He promoted the country CD with a week-long visit to New York City."It was exhausting," said 23-year-old Gracin. "We were going non-stop from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. with no breaks," he said of his interview schedule. "Even when eating meals, we did interviews."Gracin's hard work promoting his album seems to have paid off-57,048 copies were sold just last week around the country. "Josh Gracin" also debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard's Top Country Album Chart and No. 11 on the Top 200 Album Chart. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Josh Gracin is the fourth biggest selling country debut album in its history. SoundScan is an information system that tracks weekly sales of music throughout the United States and Canada; it's the sales source for Billboard music charts. As the sales numbers and his popularity climbs, Gracin is still working his "day job." He finishes his four-year enlistment in the Marine Corps in September. Meanwhile, he used some of his annual leave time to visit New York from Camp Pendleton, Calif., for his Big Apple media appearances."Being able to go around and talk to all of the radio and television stations was definitely cool," Gracin said. "Everyone was really excited about what I'm doing."Gracin was already well known from American Idol as a country singer-and as a Marine. Gracin realizes because of that, he represents the rest of the Corps to many people."Everyone was really enthused about the Marine Corps," said Gracin. "They had so many good things to say about the Corps and about my career afterwards," the Michigan-native said. "It was great to hear so much that was so positive."Gracin originally signed with his record company soon after one of his performances on Idol. He sang "I'm Moving On," by the country music band Rascal Flatts. The band saw Gracin's performance on their tour bus that night. The bass player ended up putting Gracin in touch with their manager.According to Gracin, much of the credit for his success goes to the Marine Corps. "The experience helped define who I wanted to be and who I was going to be for the rest of my life," he said. "It's really helped prepare me for the rest of my life mentally, physically, and emotionally.""I definitely hope that in the long run, people will still associate me with the Marine Corps."
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