From the very beginning of this journey, those who responded to David’s unique talents have been rewarded time and time again–and it hasn’t even been a year. I dare say David is probably as happy to be able to deliver the shared excitement to his fans as he is for his own accomplishments. With many artists of David’s caliber, we see them rise to heights of achievement and acknowledge their success because, well, of course they are where they are because look at what they can do; it makes perfect sense, it doesn’t register as a surprise. But even though we recognize a distinct and captivating power in David’s artistry–from the nuances of his voice to his impeccable musicality to his shrewd song selections–his successes will, I predict, continue to feel like those of an underdog.

Several factors contribute to this fortunate state of affairs, including that he did not win the dubious American Idol crown–a fact I continue to characterize as a major blessing. One of the consequences of David’s meteoric rise to prominence on the the nation’s popular music charts is that those in the public and in the music industry who may have written him off will undoubtedly believe that they now need to take a second look. Had he been the king instead of the prince, the expectation would have been greater and the reaction to success diminished.

But much of why we feel such a kinship with David, why it seems as though we are celebrating the astounding success of someone from our own home and hearth, is due not only to the fact that we have been accompanying him since the start but to the nature of David himself; in particular the remarkable combination of emotional proximity in his music and his grateful, humble nature. It makes for a heart connection between him and his fans that is unlike anything else (the fact that David has the most fanatical fans has very little to do with the fans). Through his work and with his character, David creates a sense of union among the human family that is both wondrously familiar and all-too rare.

Let’s all celebrate.