Mario Vazquez Birth name Mario Adrian Vazquez Born June 15, 1977
The Bronx, New York City, United States
Genres R&B, pop Occupations Musician Years active 2005–2007 Labels Arista Records (2006-2007) Website Official MySpace page
Mario Adrián Vázquez (born June 15, 1977) is a Puerto Rican-American singer from The Bronx, New York City. He competed on American Idol's fourth season, which aired on the FOX network in early 2005.
Raised by his single mother, Ada, in the Bronx, Vazquez is an alumnus of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. He was also involved in the CityKids Repertory Company in New York City, which enabled him to travel the country and perform in front of the President and at major charitable functions and shelters. In 2005, he was reunited with his estranged father, Mario Rivera, who discovered that his son was on American Idol while channel surfing. After making it into the final round of twelve contestants on the hit reality show American Idol, Vazquez suddenly dropped out of the competition citing "personal family thing" a few days before the finals started. When the press contacted his mother regarding his decision, she was unaware why he had left the show. There was much speculation about his decision; Vazquez appeared the next morning on "Good Day New York" on WNYW FOX5, and quashed rumors of a feud with "American Idol" producers or any of his competitors. "American Idol was only positive. They were only wonderful to me, from the beginning through the middle, to the end," he told the show. "It had nothing to do with the contract or anything signed with J Records." J Records is the same company that manages Idol winners Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino. Vazquez later said that he wanted more artistic control and creating his own sound, and he felt that he would be more restricted staying on the show. He felt that since he was now known worldwide as a semi-finalist, he could end the competition and go solo. He believed that his musical success would not make a difference whether he quit as a semi-finalist or participated in the finals round. Vazquez was replaced on the show by Nikko Smith, who had previously been voted out.
In August 2005, Vazquez signed with J Records/Arista Records and worked on an album executive produced by Clive Davis. Vazquez's manager was Arnold Steifel, who also managed Rod Stewart. He worked with Ne-Yo, Akon, Soulshock and Karlin, Lester Mendez, Scott Storch, and Luny Tunes. Some of these artists' songs with Vasquez did not make the final cut on his album. His first single Gallery was release in May 2006, and reached number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Vazquez's self-titled album was released September 26, 2006 by Arista Records. Later that year, Vazquez performed on the Cartoon Network Friday block on August 25, 2006. A second single "One Shot" was released to radio in February 2007 after 10 months of relying only on the first single to promote the album. It began receiving moderate airplay and by early March was hovering around #58 on Mediabase 24/7's CHR/Pop chart. Vasquez would be ultimately dropped from Arista Records in early 2008, and his website was shut down shortly after being dropped by his label.
In 2007, Magdaleno Olmos, an employee of Fremantle Media which produces American Idol, filed a lawsuit against Fremantle Media, Fox Entertainment, and Mario Vazquez claiming wrongful termination. The lawsuit alleged that Vazquez sexually harassed Olmos by performing a lewd act in front of him and offered sexual favors. Olmos claimed that he tried to report the incident to a superior but was threatened with dismissal, and he was "terminated" a few months after the incident. Olmos' lawyer also suggested that Idol producers had forced Vasquez out over the complaint, and claimed that Nigel Lythgoe, the show producer, had said to Olmos, "we know that this happened and we are going to let Mario Vazquez go, and you’re going to stay."
Vazquez was reported to be "very upset, almost distraught" over the claim and that he didn't even remember Magdaleno Olmos. He had previously denied that he is gay and that he quit the show for "artistic reasons". The judge later ruled that Olmos had signed an agreement to "arbitrate all disputes and not file a lawsuit," and sent the case to arbitration and put a hold on the lawsuit.
Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US FR 2006 Mario Vazquez
- Released: September 26, 2006
- Label: Arista
80 104
- US sales: 56,000
- 2006: "Gallery" #35 Hot 100, #15 Pop 100, #31 Hot Digital Songs, #90 European Hot 100 Singles
- 2007: "One Shot"
American Idol performances
Week # Song Choice Original Artist Result Top 24 "Do I Do" Stevie Wonder Safe Top 20 "I Love Music" The O'Jays Safe Top 16 "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" The Bee Gees Quit1
- ^ Mario Vazquez from About.com
- ^ Ex-Idol Mario Vazquez Reunites with His Dad from People 6 October 2006
- ^ a b Mario Vazquez quits 'American Idol', Fox names Nikko Smith as new finalist
- ^ Mario Vazquez Quits 'Idol' — 'It Wasn't Right For Me'
- ^ a b Interview with Mario Vasquez
- ^ New Mario Vazquez interview
- ^ a b Carla Hay and Stephen M. Silverman (August 18, 2005). "Idol Mario Vazquez Signs Record Deal". People.com. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1095705,00.html.
- ^ 'Idol' Dropout Mario Vazquez Shows 'Grittier' Side On Debut, Hopes For Spot On Christina Tour
- ^ Q&A Sessions: Mario Vazquez
- ^ Billboard Hot 100
- ^ "A.I." Contestant Accused of "Masturbating" in Suit
- ^ Olmos court document
- ^ Lawsuit: ‘Idol’ producers forced Vasquez out
- ^ Mario Vazquez Is Not a Bad 'Idol'
- ^ Ex-'Idol' employee ordered to arbitrate Mario Vazquez harassment suit
- ^ Billboard - Album
- ^ Billboard 20 Jan 2007
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