ABC 7's Ravi Baichwal talked to some of the people who know him best.
The humble roots of Lee DeWyze have been well documented in his rise to fame. For two years he and his bandmates were the studio act for Ryan Chiaverini's "Chicago Huddle".
The American Idol victory changes this songster's life -- forever. It is a well-deserved honor for the 24-year-old, according to his former bandmate Ryan McGuire, who also helped produce DeWyze's two CDs -- "So I'm Told," and the critically acclaimed "Slumberland" -- which is at No. 17 on Heatseeker.com -- a precursor to shooting up the Billboard Charts.
"It is world class. It felt like a major label release, and that came from just playing live and just, you know, living life," said Ryan McGuire, wulirecords.com.
McGuire says, now the sharks of the music industry will be gunning for DeWyze, but the kid from Mt. Prospect, whose homecoming two weeks ago in the buildup to the Idol finale was a civic occasion across the northwestern suburbs, will handle it
"Everyone realizes he will be a money making machine and they will want a piece of it," said McGuire.
At the paint store where he worked from the age of 16 to just 10 weeks ago, the customers are coming in as much for the star's souvenirs as for what this place is known for.
"I actually don't know what I want, but I really came to support Mt. Prospect," said Alicja Zelazko, customer.
"It was about time that it came through. That's what he wanted and that's what he went there to do. The results could have come three months ago, but he won and we knew that was going to happen," said Bill Lagattolla, Mt. Prospect Paint.