Josh Gracin was born October 18, 1980, and grew up in Westland, MI. He performed at fairs, music competitions, and other venues as a young man, and did the vocal for a demo version of a song ("She Loves Me," written by Ken Salaets and Tim Barbor) in Nashville in 1996 when he was only 16 years old. His big break came when he appeared on the television show American Idol during its second season. A lance corporal in the United States Marines at the time he did the show, Gracin came in fourth, specializing in broad, country-influenced versions of pop songs like "Baby I Need Your Lovin'," "Piano Man," "Jive Talkin'," and "To Love Somebody." He also sang a Rascal Flatts song on the show, "I'm Moving On," a performance that was heard by the band's bass player, Jay Demarcus. Demarcus was impressed by what he saw and put Gracin in touch with Marty Williams, the producer of Rascal Flatts' first two albums. Williams was instrumental in getting the singer signed to Lyric Street Records. A first single, "I Want to Live," was released early in 2004, and he began work on his self-titled debut album produced by Williams, which was then released that June. Gracin contributed a song -- a version of "Three Times a Lady" -- to the American Idol Season 2 soundtrack CD.