SALT LAKE CITY — Fans of pop-singer David Archuleta were surprised to hear Monday that the singer-songwriter will be serving a proselytizing mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Archuleta made the announcement just before his encore performance at his concert Monday night at Abravanel Hall, saying he "wanted to make a special announcement while he was home."
"The crowd went crazy," according to concert attendee Jana Johns. "Screaming, cheering; it was really loud.
Johns said the singer seemed emotional, putting his head down and covering his eyes.
"He couldn't talk for a minute," Johns said. "Then he thanked the crowd for their support. He got a standing ovation. Everyone was on their feet."
After the initial storm of applause, Archuleta said serving an LDS mission was his choice.
"It's not because someone told me that I'm supposed to do it, and not because I no longer want to do music, but because it's the feeling that I've felt I need to do this with my life," he said.
Archuleta is well-known for in 2007, at age 16, having been one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol. He finished the season as the runner-up.
Archuleta released a self-titled album in 2008 that debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. He released a Christmas album in 2009 and a third album, "The Other Side of Down," in October 2010.
In 2010, the singer performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the LDS conference center for the choir's Christmas concert. The performance is available on a CD and DVD titled "Glad Christmas Tidings."
Now, as Christmas once again approaches, Archuleta begins to prepare for a mission with the LDS church, which according to him will begin sometime after the new year.
Archuleta did not announce where he would be serving.