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Elliott Yamin quotes

Before 'Idol,' I was lost... Now, I've actually followed through with something. I am a better man for it!

I come from a family with big hearts, so I love to put smiles on people's faces.

I was introduced to soul music at a very young age - my mom was a soul singer.

I'm still Elliott Yamin. I'm still the funky white Jewish boy from Richmond, Va.

Music's something you feel. You have to feel it first before you hear it.

Growing up, I can remember singing along with my ma all of the time. I wouldn't say she necessarily 'taught' me how to sing, but she was definitely the first person to inspire me to sing and the first to intrigue me vocally. I've always had a natural ear for music, though.

I think the fact that I am living my dream and being really productive and embarking on all my lifelong aspirations is proof enough that if I can do it, anyone can. I try to tell everybody to dream big and go after their dreams.

My dad's Israeli. He was born in Baghdad to Iraqi Jews. Then, at age two, his parents wanted to move to their homeland and he grew up in Israel. I've been there twice, once as a baby and once when I was 15.

Quite frankly, I'm tired of taking insulin and pumping my stomach every three days and pricking my finger and drawing blood out of it every day - it's a tedious, meticulous, annoying disease that never goes away. And I want to get rid of it like everybody else does.

To me, obstacles in life build character. You have to be able to overcome adversity in order to succeed and appreciate the simple things life has to offer... that's where most of my inspiration for writing and singing comes from.

When I was a kid, I remember trying to emulate Stevie Wonder's sound, and Donny Hathaway's sound. It's just part of who I am - I'm just a soulful kind of dude.