This summer, America’s favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory, kicked-off its multi-layered “Share Your Voice” campaign to promote awareness for Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month. As part of the campaign singers were encouraged to submit their best performance of the uplifting song “Lean on Me” online or at many of the American Idol Live concert tour stops across the United States.
The Cheesecake Factory's "Share Your Voice" winner De'Angelo Watson meets American Idol Season 9 Win ...

The Cheesecake Factory's "Share Your Voice" winner De'Angelo Watson meets American Idol Season 9 Winner Lee DeWyze (Photo: Business Wire)

After more than 1,000 submissions and nearly 43,000 votes, America selected Sacramento, Calif. resident De’Angelo Watson as the grand prize winner. Of the four contest finalists Watson’s performance received the most votes with 18,132, and he won an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles where he met American Idol Season 9 Winner and Hunger Action Month Spokesperson Lee DeWyze at The Cheesecake Factory in Hollywood.

“We were so impressed with the amount of talent in these submissions. It was difficult to narrow down the entries to four finalists and we appreciate America helping us to select our ultimate Idol-oke grand prize winner,” said The Cheesecake Factory Founder David Overton. “We extend our congratulations to De’Angelo Watson and thank him for sharing his voice with America.”

Watson previously entered “Sacramento Idol” which was a local American Idol-style competition. He placed in the top three finalists and won a backstage pass to the American Idol Live concert in Sacramento this summer. After some encouragement from his family, he recorded the “Share Your Voice” winning performance on The Cheesecake Factory’s Idol-oke stage while at the concert. Watson is an aspiring singer and songwriter who plans to follow his dream of a career in music by pursuing a degree in music engineering.

“My family convinced me to enter and it’s taught me to be proud of my natural gifts,” said Watson. “I’m grateful that The Cheesecake Factory has given me the opportunity to share my voice with the world. I’m also excited to meet Lee DeWyze and get his perspective on the music industry.”

As a part of the “Share Your Voice” campaign, The Cheesecake Factory reached its goal of raising 3.5 million meals for Feeding America with the help of thousands of inspired individuals who donated through its special website during Hunger Action Month and by contributing a portion of proceeds from the sale of each slice of its new Reese’s® Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. Additionally, staff at The Cheesecake Factory restaurants nationwide coordinated a peanut butter drive to donate to local food banks, and collected over 60 tons of peanut butter during Hunger Action Month. The Cheesecake Factory has donated more than $1.7 million to Feeding America over the past two years, which equates to approximately 12 million meals.

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About The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated created the upscale casual dining segment in 1978 with the introduction of its namesake concept. The Company operates 163 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S., including 149 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory® mark; 13 restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe® mark; and one restaurant under the RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen® mark. The Company also operates two bakery production facilities in Calabasas Hills, CA and Rocky Mount, NC that produce over 70 varieties of quality cheesecakes and other baked products. For more information, please visit .

About Feeding America

Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit Find us on Facebook at or follow our news on Twitter at

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