Chris Daughtry’s first three albums might be on the earnest side but the singer-songwriter actually has a great sense of humor. Daughtry, who leads a crack band that tours behind his surname, loves to joke around. The bard, who is known for writing some pretty dark songs, enjoys cracking wise onstage and during interviews.
When the “American Idol” alum recently appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” he was asked to play a patriotic song since it was the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Daughtry, who was clearly caught off guard, went into comedy mode.
“I’m off the clock,” Daughtry joked. “I’m going to watch y’all.”
Daughtry, 34, received some unnecessary grief and apologized even though he did nothing wrong.
“In no way was I trying to be disrespectful,” Daughtry said during a phone call from Baton Rouge. “I was caught by surprise, and I was just trying to be funny.”
Daughtry, which will perform tonight at the MidFlorida Amphitheatre with the Goo Goo Dolls and Plain White T’s, also lightened it up when crafting his latest album, “Baptized,” which has some refreshingly amusing moments, such as the effectively tongue in cheek “Long Live Rock and Roll.”
“After making a couple of albums, you can’t help but move in a different direction,” Daughtry said. “Hopefully, you grow, and I think we have with this album. I think you can see my sense of humor on this one. It was a great experience writing these songs. My wife and children served as the muse behind many of the songs.”
It’s a nice change in direction for Daughtry, who has certainly made his share of brooding post-grunge tracks. “Baptized” exercises a new set of muscles for Daughtry. “We all felt good doing something a little different,” Daughtry said. “It works for us.”
Daughtry will showcase the new material tonight, but the band also will render plenty of the familiar. Count on such top five hits as “Home” and “It’s Not Over.” Daughtry has sold more than 7 million albums, which is extraordinary in the digital download age.
“I’m so thankful for that,” Daughtry said. “The industry has changed. People don’t buy albums like they used to. Fans will download them legally or illegally. I’m very fortunate that so many people like my music that much.”
The bald, muscular performer’s gloomy tunes have certainly found an audience. Daughtry has been so successful that he is part of “American Idol’s” golden triumvirate, which includes Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.
Unlike those Idols, Daughtry didn’t win his season. He finished fourth in season five, eight years ago. But it apparently doesn’t matter. “Winning that season wasn’t the most important thing,” Daughtry said. “It was about getting a chance to show what I could do. I owe so much to ‘American Idol.’ I’ll never have a bad thing to say about that show. If it weren’t for ‘American Idol’ I wouldn’t be where I am today. I might be playing a club somewhere. Who knows if I would ever be in the place I am now? I work hard to be the best I can as a musician.”
Daughtry doesn’t just work to be the best musician he can be. He also works out like a maniac, and his exploits in the gym were chronicled in the June 2013 issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine.
“With the life a musician leads on the road, I think you need to be in the best shape possible,” Daughtry said. “So I work out hard. That piece in Muscle and Fitness was awesome. I love being in shape. I love to lift weights, but I just do cardio when I’m on the road since I don’t want all of that recovery from lifting to go to my arms. I want it to go to my voice.”
So Daughtry has it all — commercial success, a loyal fan base, a wife and four children, two teenagers and twin toddlers, plus a hard body. “I worked for it all,” Daughtry said. “Sure, some things came my way, but I really did work hard for all of this.”
And when he’s not touring or recording, he avoids industry towns, such as New York, Los Angeles and Nashville in favor of Greensboro, N.C.. “I love living there,” Daughtry said. “My family loves it there. I can just be me. It’s inspiring and relaxing. You can’t beat it.”