The morning after his and the video went viral last January, Chris Medina watched as the YouTube counter soared into the hundreds of thousands. Then the phone started ringing—TV, newspaper and magazine reporters—all wanting to hear more about the then 26-year-old's heartwarming story of devotion to his injured fiance, Juliana Ramos.
Medina and Ramos were months from marrying when . Medina morphed from fiancé into caretaker, closely monitoring her ongoing recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury.
His run on Idol was short-lived, but impactful, as judge Jennifer Lopez battled with casting him off before the Top 24. Medina wasn't worried—there was more to come for him. Just days after his elimination, he released What Are Words, a single inspired by his story and written for him by producer Rodney Jerkins.
The end of his Idol stint was just the beginning for the local favorite.
Medina's single climbed as high as 83 on Billboard’s Hot 100, selling 97,000 copies and garnering him attention from major media such as The Jay Leno Show, Good Morning America, CNN and Access Hollywood. Proceeds from the single poured into Juliana's recovery fund.
Though the song later stalled on U.S. charts, it became a smash hit in Scandinavia, skyrocketing to number 1 on Norwegian charts, where it held steady for 12 weeks. It went quadruple-platinum and helped Medina establish a a fan base overseas. He has performed in Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Germany and more. Crowds of 70,000 have sung along with him, and many shouted their support to Ramos, also hand-delivering cards, gifts and well wishes.
On Nov. 25 he released a full album What Are Words under the Norwegian record label Eccentric. At the end of January, he will depart for a promotional tour in Denmark and Finland. You can follow his career on his Facebook page and Twitter account, and track Juliana's progress on her mother's blog.
But how has his new career affected his love story? In part 1 of our chat with Medina, we find out how his jumpstarted career has influenced his role in his fiancée's recovery, and how she has responded to his newfound fame.
Parts 2 and 3, to come Friday, will look at his personal journey from local musician to international performer, featuring an interview with his mother. We'll talk motivation, inspiration and future goals—also touching on his dreams of marriage to Ramos.
CHECK OUT behind the scenes footage of the video shoot for single "One More Time":
and hear the closing track of his new album:
WATCH and LEARN more about Juliana's recovery: