American Idol Winner: Lee DeWyze!

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It was a slow, but steady rise to the top for Lee DeWyze.

But it all paid off tonight, as the laid back rocker with the sexy, scratchy voice was crowned season nine champion on American Idol!

DeWyze peaked at the ideal time, bringing the crowd and judges to their feet with his recent rendition of "Hallelujah" last week. He then carried that momentum into the finale and defeated a worthy competitor, Crystal Bowersox.

On the Finale

A choked-up DeWyze accepted Ryan Seacrest's congratulations after the announcement and proceeded to sing his cover of "Beautiful Day," which will soon hit radio stations around the country.

Relive Lee's Idol journey below...

Covering The Boxer
The Two Finalists
Final Six
Inspiring Viewers
Final 7 Pose
Making DeWyze Choice

Did Lee deserve to win?

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]