Season nine runner-up Crystal Bowersox won over millions of voters with her gutsy church house vocals and folksy guitar riffs to emerge as one of the most talented artists from the hit reality competition series "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ). Crystal Lynn Bowersox was born on Aug. 4, 1985 in Elliston, OH. The future singer, who had a fraternal twin brother named Carl, had a difficult childhood, beginning with her parents' divorce when she was only two years old. Along with tight finances, there was constant fighting among her new family members. At age six, Bowersox was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. To cope with the stress of her personal life, Bowersox focused her energy on learning how to sing, and play the guitar and harmonica. At age 10, she began performing professionally to bring in extra income. Intent on becoming a musician, Bowersox attended the Toledo School for the Arts in Toledo, OH. Yet, while her singing career appeared to be on track, her family environment disintegrated to the point where Bowersox considered moving out and dropping out of school. However, she stayed put until she graduated, before moving back to Ellison to continue performing. In early 2009, Bowersox gave birth to her son, Tony, which ignited in her a desire to turn her live bar gigs into something bigger. She headed to Chicago, IL that fall to audition for the ninth season of "American Idol," a feat she readily accomplished with her powerful rendition of the Janis Joplin version of "A Piece of My Heart" (1968).