The history of popular music is full of stars who began their careers in the church only to find success in the secular world. Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke all began their careers as gospel singers before bursting out from the choir into mainstream success. Amy Grant began her career in the Christian music genre before finding pop stardom. If Josh Damigo has his way, he'll add a different kind of chapter to the annals of church-bred musicians who find success in the secular world. While the above legends all found success in R&B and pop after learning about music in the church, Damigo is in the singer-songwriter mold. Born and raised in San Jose, Calif., Damigo grew up in a very strict household. Only allowed to listen to the KFRC, the local oldies station in the Bay Area, he found himself influenced by bands like the Beatles, The Beach Boys, and much of the old-time, lyrically driven style of music. Damigo's initial introduction to music was fairly ordinary: In first grade, his mother signed him up for piano lessons. 'I absolutely hated piano because my teacher kept giving me classical pieces,' Damigo said. 'I quit when I was in sixth grade.' He only quit piano, not music. 'At 16, I taught myself to play guitar... Two weeks after that, I had my first show. I was playing at churches. I was mostly singing - I was a much better singer than a guitar player.' It was also at this time that he wrote his first song. Seven years, 5 awards (Best Male Performer (2006), Best New Artist (2006), Best Male Singer-Songwriter (2006), and Best Male Vocalist (2006 & 2008), and over 200 shows later, Damigo has made a strong following for himself in Southern California, which places him atop the local plays for San Diego. With the release of his new Album, 'raw' (Coming May 2009) Josh Damigo hopes to gain national attention, building on his already-strong resume. His shows includes performances with The Jonas Brothers Trio, Joss Stone, Jason Mraz, Matt Nathanson, The Zac Brown Band, John Foreman (Switchfoot), Daphne Loves Derby, The Format, Ernie Halter, Curtis Peoples and John West. He has been featured in The San Diego Union-Tribune and North County Times, and was named one of San Diego's Up and Coming Artists by the San Diego Troubadour. His songs have been played on Clear Channel's Rock 105.3, and he also co-hosted the local music show, 'Loud and Local'. He was the 'Pick of the Week' on KPRI FM, and has performed on the local TV station KUSI. This year marks a new verse in Damigo's Music Career: hitting the road! Keep an eye out for national tour dates and tunes to be recorded for a new release later this year, as 2009 promises to be the biggest year yet for Josh Damigo.