You may have been surprised by Phillip Phillips‘ American Idol win on Wednesday, but the singer’s father, also named Phillip Phillips, revealed an even bigger shocker: the 21-year-old Georgian actually underwent a total of eight kidney surgeries during his tenure on the 11th season of Idol.
“He’s been doing [well], but it’s just grueling hours and it’s just amazing what he’s done through the journey,” the senior Phillips told People. “Eight operations since we started American Idol… He’s hitting 50 percent, but he’s still up there swinging away.”
In addition to snagging the Idol crown this year, Phillips achieved another victory yesterday when his coronation song “Home” rose to the top of the iTunes download chart. Today the plucky guitar jam is still sitting in the peak position at the online music retailer.
But according to People, before Phillips can head out on the annual Idols Live Tour, he still needs to undergo another surgery:
The younger Phillips, 21, suffered with a build up of kidney stones and underwent multiple operations to remove them. In the next few weeks, after another surgery to reconstruct his kidneys, he is expected to make a full recovery in time for the Idols Live tour.
“I’m going to get some surgery done, so I’m going to get all better for the tour,” the singer told reporters following his Idol triumph the other day. “It was very tough [getting through the season]. I had great doctors and great people surrounding me [who] really helped out, so it’s just a blessing to be here.”
Will you be heading out to see Phillip and the Season 11 singers when they hit the road this summer?