By Jenny Brown
Pictures: David Hahn
The Aussie American Idol star and the love of his life talk about Michael's wild ride to stardom.
It's been a long way to the top for Aussie rocker Michael Johns. Today the musician counts Dolly Parton, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore among his fans.
But Perth-born Michael chased US success for years, sleeping in his car, singing in bars, signing with minor record labels that imploded before his albums were released. Considered a favourite to win this year's American Idol
, he failed. But then he got a huge surprise. His early elimination from the show created national outrage and suddenly, with an audience of 35 million, the 29-year-old Aussie was famous beyond his wildest dreams.
In a frank and funny interview, LA-based Michael gives the lowdown on celebrity, what it's like to become a sex symbol and the effect it's having on his marriage to American interior designer, Stacey Vuduris.
How are you coping with success?
I think Michael deserves it after so long. When he was eliminated we were sad, but the next day people were in an uproar about it, and that made us feel really good. But it is weird now he's recognised, people just stare and stare.
I believe the US Secretary of State is a fan?
Oh man, I got invited to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and Martha Stewart and Pamela Anderson were there with all these politicians. Someone said Condoleezza Rice wanted to meet me. Sure enough, we had our photo taken and ended up having a conversation. She said she was bummed that I got voted off Idol
Condoleezza's a musician as well, isn't she?
Yes, I asked if she wanted to do a song together maybe something like Great Balls Of Fire
but she said she was more into Mozart. I said, "Come on Condi, there's a little bit of rock 'n' roll in all of us!"
For more of this interview, see this week's Woman's Day
(on sale May 19).
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