Born and raised in the Bronx, Mario Vazquez
made news in 2005 gossip circles when he left the television show American Idol for undisclosed "personal reasons" just after making it into the final 12. However, the day after the winner, Carrie Underwood
, was announced, Vazquez
found himself in Clive Davis
' studios, auditioning for the label head. Davis
was impressed, and signed the young singer to a record deal, the first young male Latin artist on Arista. In the spring of 2006 Vazquez
's first single, "Gallery" (with an accompanying Spanglish version), was released, followed by a full-length album later in the summer of the same year.