With her raspy voice, rock star vibe, and confident delivery that belied her young age, Allison Iraheta rose to fame as one of the more memorable finalists on season eight of "American Idol" (Fox, 2002-16). Allison Iraheta was born on April 27, 1992 in Los Angeles to El Salvadorian immigrants. She started singing as a toddler, and in 2001, began taking voice lessons at a non-profit community school of the arts in East Los Angeles. In her early teens, Iraheta sang regularly in school and in church, and at the Los Angeles Music and Art School's annual benefit concerts. In 2007, the then-budding singer tried her luck at the reality competition show, "Quinceanera: Mama Quiero Ser Artista" ("Sweet Fifteen: Mom, I Want to be an Artist; Telemundo") (2007), where a group of teenage girls competed for $50,000 and a recording deal. Iraheta won the grand prize, but due to legal problems, the music contract was never finalized. Two years later, Iraheta set her eyes on "American Idol," the reality singing competition that she always dreamed of being on since watching Kelly Clarkson win the first season in 2002. For her audition, she belted out Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (1967) and earned a spot in the semi-finals round held in Hollywood.