FILE- This Wednesday, June 8, 2011 file photo shows David Archuleta as he arrives at the 2011 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Utah's favorite son and 2007 American Idol runner-up David Archuleta says he'll take a break from his singing career to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, FILE)AP2011
"I've chosen to serve a full-time mission," he told the crowd at his Salt Lake City concert Monday night.
Breaking down in tears as the crowd erupted with applause, he explained, "It's not because someone told me I was supposed to do it and not because I no longer want to do music anymore."
"It's because it's what I feel I need to do next in my life. It's the same feeling that I've always tried to follow in my life," the 20-year-old added.
As part of the mission program with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Archuleta will adhere to a strict schedule of studying Scripture, learning the local language and evangelizing.
Archuleta did not announce where he would serve his term.
Though the Utah native was a favorite on the singing competition in 2007, he lost to edgy rocker David Cook.
After the hype of "American Idol," Archuleta's debut album sold nearly one million copies but his subsequent releases have failed to gain much traction with fans.
His last effort, "The Other Side of Down," barely sold 60,000 copies and in February he was dropped by Jive Records.