Chris Sligh received his big break during the sixth season of American Idol, where his self-deprecating humor and tenor vocals earned him a tenth-place finish. He parlayed that success into a CCM career, first with the band Half Past Forever (which Sligh had formed prior to the American Idol season) and later as a solo act. Born into a Baptist household in 1978, Charles Christopher Sligh developed his faith and singing ability at a young age. His parents were missionaries whose work required the family to move frequently, and the young Sligh spent time in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Germany while taking musical influence from his guitar-playing father. He later relocated to South Carolina to attend the fundamentalist Bob Jones University, where he was expelled after seven semesters for violating the school's "music rules" (Sligh had attended a performance by the seminal Christian band 4Him). He clung to his faith during his time on American Idol, though, even singing a dc Talk song during the show's Top 16 week.