Posted Monday July 1, 2013 4:40 PM GMT

Wanting to shed some pounds for his health, Ruben Studdard will be a contestant in season 15 of “The Biggest Loser.”

Known as the Velvet Teddy Bear, the 2003 “American Idol” winner has struggled with his weight for years, and after becoming vegetarian and beginning an exercise routine in 2006, he dropped 70 pounds.

After his 2011 divorce from Surata Zuri McCants, the weight started to creep back on, due mostly, the 35-year-old said, to stress eating.

In a recent interview, Studdard said, It took me to be in my thirties for it to become somewhat of a mission for me, because I grew up in the South so we used to eat everything. And still to this day I have a problem with sweets, which is something that I hope I can get control over in the near future. But everyone has different obstacles that they have to conquer and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to conquer mine.”

The new season of “The Biggest Loser” premieres on Tuesday, October 8 on NBC.

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