“American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips has booked his first major appearance at the fourth of July celebration on the National Mall in Washington D.C. alongside country singer Josh Turner, “Smash” star Megan Hilty, actor Matthew Broderick and famed composer John Williams.
“I’m getting better each day, so that’s a good thing. I’m just walking around, getting my strength back together,” Phillips, 21, told the AP about his focus on recovering from the surgery to remove a number of large kidney stones . “It was tough, you know, those first few days, but I’m getting to where I can pick the guitar back up and write a little bit.”
After undergoing eight surgeries to deal with his congenital kidney condition during his run on “Idol,” Phillips said the pain he endured on the show was crippling and sometimes made it hard for him to stand up during performances. He revealed that his right kidney was not functioning properly, but that he did not need a transplant to fix the problem.
The trip to D.C. will not only be his first major appearance since “Idol,” but it will also represent the Leesburg, Georgia singer’s national coming out gig.
“It’s probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done besides ‘American Idol,'” he said of the chance to sing his hit single, “Home,” in front of an audience of 300,000 on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol for a show broadcast live on PBS and NPR. “I’m just excited to get out there and do my first real live performance since everything that’s been going on.”
From there it will be straight back to work continuing his recuperation and preparations for the “Idol” summer tour, which kicks off in Detroit on July 6.