Jason René Castro is an American acoustic/folk-pop/contemporary Christian singer and songwriter. He was the fourth place finalist on season seven of American Idol. After Idol, he signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records, and his self-titled debut album was released on April 13, 2010.
Castro was born (March 25, 1987) in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Rowlett, Texas. His parents, René and Betsy Castro, are Colombian and also had two other children, Michael and Jackeline. Their father, René, is an architectural swimming pool designer.
Castro attended Rowlett High School where he was a left winger on his school’s soccer team and an honor student. He received a 1340 out of 1600 on his SAT. Castro was a junior majoring in Construction Science at Texas A&M University in College Station on a full academic scholarship when he auditioned for American Idol.
Castro has sported dreadlocks since his senior year of high school. In 2014, symbolic of a spiritual reawakening, he cut his dreadlocks and has since worn his hair much shorter.
Castro performed as a drummer with the rock band Charlemagne, which later became Keeping Lions. He has stated that his musical influences include Ray LaMontagne, Ben Harper, Bob Marley, Carlos Vives and Kirk Baxley.
Castro auditioned for American Idol in Dallas, Texas, singing the Ray LaMontagne version of the song “Crazy”. During a March 17, 2008 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, judge Simon Cowell chose Castro as one of his four favorites in the competition, along withDavid Cook, David Archuleta, and Brooke White. On April 12, Ryan Seacrest and the three judges appeared in Larry King Live, Larry King revealed the results of his website poll which asked “Whom do you want to win American Idol?” and said that Castro was in the lead.
Castro played the guitar during the Top 24 performance night when he sang “(What A Day For A Daydream)”. He was also the first contestant to play the ukulele on the show, played the instrument while singing Over The Rainbow. Castro also sang in Spanish in a combination of Sting’s “Fragile” and “Fragilidad” on March 25, 2008. He was voted off the competition on May 7, 2008.
Castro was the love interest of Cheyenne Kimball on her MTV reality show, Cheyenne and was also featured in her music video for “Hanging On.”
On October 31 on Halloween in 2009, Castro proposed to Mandy Mayhall, his girlfriend of a year and a half. They were friends in high school and began dating in 2008. Mayhall made a cameo in Castro’s music video for “Let’s Just Fall in Love Again.”
Castro and Mayhall were married on January 2, 2010, in his hometown and now reside in Dallas. The couple’s first daughter was born in August 2011. Their second daughter was born on June 3, 2015.