American Idol season four finalist Anthony Fedorov is making three major changes for 2013. He’s joining a long-standing rock band as their lead singer, he’s engaged to be married and is about to become a father.
Fedorov is the new front man for 7th Heaven, a group that formed in Chicago in 1985 and has been recording and touring ever since. Founding member Richie Hofherr went through 45,000 profiles on ReverbNation when he found one from Fedorov. “He sent a message to my fan page on Facebook saying he was interested in me as the band’s new lead singer and he wanted to contact me,” says Fedorov. “But that page wasn’t active. Some fans who administer that page forwarded Richie’s message to me and I got in touch with him.” The group, which also includes Mike Mooshey, Mark Kennetz, and Nick Cox, flew Fedorov to Chicago so they could meet in person.
“I never envisioned myself being in a band,” Fedorov tells The Hollywood Reporter. ‘But I’ve been trying to break out as a solo artist for eight years. Between 2008 and 2010, I had four major label deals fall apart.” A month after he met with the members of 7th Heaven, Fedorov was auditioning for the title role in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. “I went through that whole process but decided that being the front man for this incredible band was the way to go.”
As soon as Fedorov said yes to 7th Heaven, the band sent him their 2010 CD Jukebox, with over 700 songs recorded by the group since its inception. “They also sent me their medley of 30 well-known rock songs in 30 minutes, and I had to learn that along with the set list for their spring tour.” Fedorov is moving to the band’s hometown of Chicago on Saturday and will do his first gig with them on Jan. 19, a private corporate show. The first public concert with Fedorov as lead singer should take place in February. Fedorov will be traveling a lot in the coming months -- 7th Heaven traditionally performs 200-250 shows a year. He’ll also be in the studio, as he records his first album with 7th Heaven for release in the spring. The album is expected to include new versions of some of his own songs, including “You’re Perfect.”
Joining a rock band isn’t the only thing new in Fedorov’s life. On Christmas day, he proposed to his girlfriend, actress Jennifer Paz (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables). “We’ve talked about getting married but she wasn’t expecting me to ask her, especially at Christmas.” Fedorov, who has had starring roles in The Fantasticks, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Rent, appeared as Rolf in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of The Sound of Music from Nov. 23-Dec. 30, and used his downtime backstage to search online for rings. On Christmas Day, the couple was with Fedorov’s family in Philadelphia for the holiday. He told Paz they needed to dress up for a photo shoot with all of his relatives.
On the morning of Dec. 25, Paz came downstairs to join the family and was serenaded by Fedorov, who sang “Ekow Ang Lahat Sa Akin,” her favorite song in her native language, Tagalog. “At the end of the song I got down on one knee and took her hand. I reached for the ring, which was in my back pocket, and the box was stuck and wouldn’t come out. Jen had no idea what was happening -- she told me later she thought I was scratching my butt.” Fedorov finally got the ring out and popped the question. “She said, ‘Da,’ which is ‘yes’ in Russian,” says the Ukranian-born singer. There was a further surprise for Paz. Her family in San Diego and her best friend in Seatte had been watching the whole event unfold via Facetime on an iPad and an iPhone. “That’s how our families met for the first time,” laughs Fedorov. “Technology is a wonderful thing.”
As if being in a new band and looking forward to setting a wedding date isn’t enough, the couple is expecting their first child, a boy. The due date is April 8. “We’re both so happy and overjoyed,” says Fedorov. “Looking at the ultrasound is a miracle. I feel like I was put on this planet to be a dad. I want to teach our son great values, instill love and raise him the best way we can.”