NEW YORK – Christian artist Colton Dixon has come a long way since his "American Idol" days. The season 11 finalist just released his sophomore album "Anchor" and won a Dove award for his first record. He tells FOX411 how his faith plays a huge role in who he is in both his personal and professional life.
"I grew up in a Christian home, so it's been a part of my life for quite a long time," the singer told FOX411. "I decided to become a Christian when I was 7, so I was a young one, but man I haven't turned back it's just been such a part of who I am and my music and what I want to do."
Despite turning to God at such a young age, his faith was challenged when he made it on "American Idol" in 2011.
"I remember being on 'American Idol' and feeling so disconnected and so alone," he recalled. " I hadn't talked to my family or my friends in what seemed like weeks because you're so busy doing other things and just kind of had to had that reassuring moment, like okay, I know God's still in this. [I] just needed to know I was doing the right thing, and after being encouraged and reassured of that, I was good to go."
Dixon hopes his struggle on "Idol" can be an inspiration to his fans going through a hard time.
"I think a lot of us struggle with doubt or whatever and it's in those moments that our faith is tested," the 22-year-old said. "You can either grow in your faith or you can take a step backwards and I just want to encourage people to trust that He's right there."
He's the first to admit that being in the spotlight isn't always easy.
"I mean God says that we're going to be held to a higher standard especially those up on a stage so that's something to be expected," said the "More of You" singer. "It does make it difficult sometimes, I mean I'm not perfect by any means. I'm human and I'm going to make mistakes.
"It can be hard when I do slip up...you're only being criticized instead of being lifted up. Especially lately, it feels like Christians have really gotten the wrong end of the stick...we're all going to make mistakes and that doesn't put us on a pedestal more than anybody else."
At the end of the day, it's about staying true to who you are, Dixon said.
"It's really just about making sure every opportunity is lined up with that you want to do. And there's even some opporunties that don't go against my moral system that I don't think is adding to what's going on so I won't necessarily do them."
Faith & Fame is a regular column exploring how a strong belief system helps some performers navigate the pitfalls of the entertainment industry.
Follow Sasha Bogursky on Twitter @SashaFB.