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'Idol' hopeful woos crowd on Hill

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POSTED: August 19, 2010 1:19 p.m.
Photo by Katie McGurl/

Richmond Hill resident and "American Idol" hopeful Drew J. Bradley performs a free concert Saturday at the amphitheater in J.F. Gregory Park.

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Brightly colored, hand-printed signs emblazoned with slogans like “Richmond Hill’s American Idol” and “Watch out, Hollywood – here comes Drew” cut through the gloom of a rainy evening as close to 100 people came out to support Drew J. Bradley at his concert in J.F. Gregory Park on Saturday evening.
Bradley, a local singer-songwriter, headed to San Francisco, Calif., this week for the final day of “American Idol” auditions. The local concert was held as a preview and fundraiser to help alleviate his travel expenses.
The 24-year-old Idol-hopeful was pleased with Saturday’s turnout.
“I expected, since it was raining, that my mom would be there and maybe 20 people, tops,” he laughed. “But for there to be 80 to 100 people standing in the rain for the entire concert, that was like the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It made me feel really special.”
Clad in jeans and a fitted black t-shirt, Bradley took the stage solo, singing a handful of original songs with his acoustic guitar or mandolin. A group of young girls near the front of the crowd caught “Drew Fever,” and screamed enthusiastically after each song.
“Drew’s Crew,” friends and family of the young singer, acted as hosts and fundraisers during the event. A table was set up near the stage for donations, and contributors to Bradley’s travel fund received coupons for Plum’s Sandwich Shop and candy.
Josh Tech of Richmond Hill approached the table during Bradley’s set to donate cash.
“I went to school with him from fourth grade to eighth grade,” said Tech. “We’re here to support him and see him off for American Idol.”
Bradley was overwhelmed at the show of support and generosity.
“I got more (money) than I needed. These people came out … and they totally blew my mind,” he said.
King’s Cross, a local Christian rock band, opened the show.
To learn more about Drew J. Bradley and to sample his music, visit www.myspace.com/drewjbradley.
 

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