David Cook almost didn't audition for American Idol—he was there to offer moral support to his younger brother. But goading from his family kicked off a whirlwind journey that took him from fledgling Midwest rocker to Billboard star. Cook tells Rolling Stone about his modest beginnings—and his early skepticism about the Idol pop machine.
"I appreciated the show for what it is, but I never really saw it as my path," he said. "I was never in it to win it, and that took some pressure off me. If I'd gotten caught up in all that, I would've had a coronary."