Casey Abrams: Musician, Singer With Ulcerative Colitis

Singer/Songwriter Competed on American Idol Despite IBD

Casey Abrams
Casey Abrams, a contestant on American Idol, deals with ulcerative colitis while performing. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Casey Abrams was a contestant on the 2011 season of the wildly popular Fox reality show, American Idol. Abrams was born in Austin, Texas in 1991, and later lived in the states of Illinois and California. He went on to major in music at the University of Boulder. While best known for playing the bass guitar ("I'm Casey, and I play the Bassy" being his catchphrase), Abrams also sings and plays several other instruments.


His Battle With Ulcerative Colitis

Abrams also has ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is characterized by unremitting diarrhea and bloody stools. During his time competing on American Idol, he lost so much blood that he was hospitalized several times to receive blood transfusions. He missed a show that taped on March 10, 20011 due to, at the time, unspecified health problems. On March 16, 2011, he took to his Twitter account to let his fans know the reason for his absences: he confirmed that he does indeed have ulcerative colitis. He went on to assure his followers that he has his disease under control. In the years since American Idol, Abrams has turned out new material for his fans and tours extensively.

A Dramatic Save By American Idol Judges

In an emotional episode of American Idol a week later, Abrams reportedly collapsed backstage. Abrams received the lowest amount of votes during the week, and according to the premise of the show, would have been eliminated from the rest of that season's competition.

However, the situation ultimately turned out quite differently. The judges on the show decided to use their one "save" of the season: a sort of "veto" to the voting that takes place by viewers. The judges were able to save Abrams and keep him on the show and in the competition.

This meant that Abrams became one of the final 11 contestants.

Each year it is typically the last 10 contestants competing in the show that go on to do a special tour. However, during that episode in the season where 11 contestants are narrowed down to 10, Abrams was kept in the competition by the judges. That meant that there were 11 top contestants that went on the American Idol tour around the country.

His Performances And Influences

Songs Abrams has performed on American Idol include "I Don't Need No Doctor," "Get Ready," "Georgia On My Mind," "A Hard Day's Night," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and "I Heard It Through The Grapevine." His cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the first time a Nirvana song was performed on American Idol, and while the judges praised the performance, many viewers were turned off by it.

Abrams lists Queen, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Oscar Peterson, Marshal Hawkins, and James Taylor among his musical influences.

Abrams' debut album, "Casey Abrams," was recorded under Concord Records and became available on June 26, 2012. His second release is an EP titled "Tales From The GingerBread House." 

Warm, authentic, and engaging, Abrams was a favorite on Idol, and continues to have an active and dedicated fan base. His fans have lots of opportunities to see him perform, and he continues to be very active on social media.

 You can follow Casey on Twitter, @CaseyBassyFacebookInstagram; his official site,; and see his performance schedule on

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