Justin was born in Columbus, Georgia on October 28, 1978. His father, Eldrin Bell, is a former Atlanta Chief of Police and is currently the Commission Chair. Clayton County, GA. His mother, Kathy Pepino Guarini, was a journalist for WTVM TV in Columbus, and later for CNN. His parents divorced when he was young. Eventually, his mother was married to Jerry Guarini and Justin settled with his mother and stepfather in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Justin's musical ability was recognized at a very early age. When he was four years old, he was accepted to the Atlanta Boys Choir, two years earlier than the usual cut-off of six. He continued to display remarkable talent through his school years. While still attending Lenape Middle School, his solo at the Bucks County Music Festival, "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," won him a standing ovation. In high school, he performed in several productions including "Zombie Prom" and "The Pirates of Penzance". During this time, he and some friends formed an a cappella group "Midnight Voices". They went on to take second place at the 2000 Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival Mid-Atlantic Regional with Justin as lead soloist. The group has a CD and "Midnight Voices" can still be purchased. Profits are donated to a music scholarship fund at Central Bucks East High School.
After he graduation, Justin continued to hone his skills by attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied vocal performance and theater studies. He then moved to New York City where he attended the School for Film and Television. During this time period, he worked as a Party Motivator for "Cutting Edge Entertainment" allowing him to develop his speaking and motivation skills. Soon he was offered a spot in the master classes for Broadway's "The Lion King". But Justin's Broadway debut would have to wait, because destiny had other plans for him.
In April 2002, he stood in the cold New York City morning waiting on the sidewalk with a thousand other hopefuls to audition for a new Fox series, "American Idol - The Search for a Superstar". He may have been number 126 in line, but with the few opening notes of his rendition of "Blame It On the Sun" he quickly soared to the top spot with the judges becoming the first finalist voted through to one of the coveted 32 spots. He eventually came in second to Kelly Clarkson and embarked on the national American Idol Tour, reaching over 200,000 fans and dazzling them and critics with his beautiful vocals, his musicality and his showmanship. He was quickly signed to 19E management and RCA Records.
After a seemingly interminable wait, Justin's self-titled CD was released in June, 2003. Despite the early promise of a solid debut in the Top 20, his album quickly faded due to the lack of a single, no video and haphazard promotion. The timing of the release of the critically panned film "From Justin to Kelly" to coincide with his album release was another example of poor judgement by his management team. By the end of year, Justin was let go from his recording contract and at the first legal opportunity, he severed his ties with 19Entertainment and American Idol.
Despite these setbacks, Justin has quietly persevered and has slowly built his resume of acting and hosting credits. He appeared in several scenes in an episode of "Run of the House" in October 2003. He also had a major role as a hilarious diva version of 'himself' in the AMC series "Film Fakers!". In 2004, he landed the role of "Jan" in the Workshop presentation of "Good Vibrations", garnering praise for his performance in Variety and in theatre blogs everywhere. He co-hosted with Kelly Ripa on the syndicated "Regis & Kelly" and was a guest veejay on the "VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown". His talent and natural charisma has made him an outstanding spokeperson for Support Music Education in our schools and Habitat for Humanity.
This year he shot a short Indie film "Tilt-a-Whirl" and a pilot for the series "The Unknown: Frankie the Squirrel". Justin recently finished a Jazz CD.… Expand
Justin Guarini's Scores