You’ve likely heard “Crying on a Suitcase” by former American Idol contestant Casey James who took third place during the show’s ninth season. Even if his name doesn’t ring a bell, his long golden locks aren’t easy to forget.
The singer-song writer realized early into his career that people were recognizing him by his curly hair, which was a bit of a problem since being the blonde guy with long curly hair was never the image he meant to have for himself.
During an interview with The Boot, Casey was forthcoming with the real reason he’s been growing out his hair. If you aren’t “Crying on a Suitcase” yet, you might be after this confession.
“My family has been really affected by cancer,” said Casey during the interview. “My Nana died of cancer, my Pawpaw passed away May 11 of last year of cancer. My mom is a two-time cancer survivor, breast and thyroid. That’s just some of it; there are a lot of instances in my family.”
James wanted to be a part of the cancer fight and grew out his hair with the intent to donate it to Locks of Love, an organization known for making wigs out of human hair for cancer patients who have lost their own.
“When I grew my hair out to donate it, I didn’t have money or anything else to offer,” recalled Casey. “Then I went on ‘American Idol’ and it became an image thing, so it’s one of those situations where I can’t change it until people know who I am.”
So for the time being, James’ hair is here to stay, but without even trying, he did start a mini hair revolution.
“It was always about doing something for that cause, and when my fans heard the story of the reason I grew out my hair, some of them grew out theirs and donated it to Locks of Love,” said Casey. “That was so touching to me.”
At this time, Casey is not associated with any specific organization, but he did indicate that would be changing soon. “There are so many choices and I want to make sure I choose the right one,” he explained. “I’ve always played charity events, and I’m a big fan of doing that. Everyone has been given gifts and we should all use them for good.”
-Ashley Quadros, KNCI/Sacramento