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'American Idol' winner Phillip Phillips undergoes kidney surgery

EW has confirmed that American Idol winner Phillip Phillips underwent a six and a half hour surgery yesterday to remove several kidney stones, which TMZ (who first reported the news) says “were so huge there was no chance he could’ve passed them on his own.”

Phillips’ longtime kidney issues plagued his run on Idol, causing him excruciating pain and preventing him from participating in various Idol duties, like the weekly Ford music video shoots.

“The surgery went well,” says a source close to the show. “He’s doing well and looking forward to starting the Idol tour in July.” (The Idols Live tour kicks off July 6 in Detroit.)

The surgery is the latest beat in a medical drama that’s been brewing for months.

In March, Phillips, who suffers a congenital kidney condition, underwent a surgical procedure to have a stent implanted into his kidney to prevent blockage — thereby assuring he could remain a competing contestant. In April, Phillips’ father, Donnie, told Albany Uncovered that “contestants are getting very little sleep and it’s starting to take a toll on Phillip, especially when combined with his ongoing kidney stone issues.” Phillips’ mother, Sheryl, went on to request prayers for her son on Facebook:

“I have a special prayer request. Please stop and pray a special prayer for Phillip. He is in a lot of pain and I am sad about it. I just wish he felt good. I love him so much and wish I could be with him. He would appreciate the prayers too!”

Phillips was reportedly scheduled to go under the knife last week, but due to a fever and sinus infection, the surgery had to be delayed. (Geez, the guy just can’t catch a break health-wise, can he?)

Our get-well-soon wishes go out to Phillip; he’s got a whole lot of fans hoping to hear him sing again soon.

For more Idol updates, follow me on Twitter.

More on EW.com:
Phillip Phillips sells 278,000 downloads of ‘Home’ in debut sales week
EW Single Review: Phillip Phillips’ ‘Home’

'American Idol' winner Phillip Phillips sells 278,000 downloads of 'Home' in debut sales week

IDOL-PHILLIPS-04

Sorry, Jessica Sanchez fanatics, but it looks like Phillip Phillips may not just be another “White Guy With Guitar” after all.

The Georgia native, who was crowned American Idol‘s 11th winner last Wednesday (resulting in an endearing parent-hugging breakdown), debuted at No. 2 on the Hot Digital Songs chart, shifting 278,000 units of his single “Home” last week. (Read our review here.) READ FULL STORY

'American Idol': Jessica Sanchez's and Phillip Phillips' coronation singles

For years, American Idol has focused on the fish out of water, reveling in making the country girl sing Queen or the soul singer take on Bon Jovi.

But that’s changed for the better since Interscope took over the music on Idol in 2010. Label head Jimmy Iovine and the rest of the crew now wisely choose to use the show as a platform to develop the strengths and core identities of its contestants, rather than throwing them out of their comfort zones for ratings’ sake.

Not that it means confining them to their genre; it’s been more about creative adjustments, like taking Whitney Houston’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and making it a viable country platform for Southern girl Skylar Laine, or giving Eminem and Rihanna’s domestic-violence account “Love the Way You Lie” a piano-pop twist for the God-fearing Colton Dixon.

Perhaps that’s why this year’s coronation songs, “Change Nothing” by Jessica Sanchez and “Home” by Phillip Phillips, are so many miles away from the one-size-fits-all schmaltz of former Idol anthems like “Inside Your Heaven,” “I Believe,” or “No Boundaries” (which, for the record, I never thought was all that bad: especially when performed reggae-style).

Interscope has sent its fledgling Idols out into the music world with viable singles that forgo mentions of a “magic rainbow on the horizon” or  “flying without wings” — you know, things that modern, non-Idol viewers might listen to.

Sanchez and Phillips unveiled their new tracks last night, and although both sounded much more current than any other Idol winners’ single,  judges made it clear that they felt that only one of them had produced a potential hit. Randy Jackson boldly told Jessica Sanchez that he “did not love the song” and wished she’d chosen something more urban in the style of Beyoncé. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler agreed. (Who knows how much Interscope pushed these singles on each finalist, but Sanchez did make it clear that “Change Nothing” was her single by choice.) Meanwhile, the judges gave Phillip Phillips a standing ovation for his performance of “Home.” “You were perfect tonight,” Tyler gushed.

But what did you think of the new Idol songs?

Give the studio versions of the two tracks a listen below, read my takes on each, and then sound off in the comments. READ FULL STORY

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