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Friday, May 25, 2018

American Idol Is Back!

Written by Jon Williams

On Monday of this week, the popular reality singing show American Idol capped off its sixteenth season by crowning Maddie Poppe as its new champion. This season was the show’s first on ABC following fifteen on Fox followed by a two-year hiatus. Ryan Seacrest returned as the show’s host, where he was joined by new judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. Along with Poppe, some other names to watch for from this season as their musical careers unfold include Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, Cade Foeher, Michael J. Woodard, Catie Turner, and Ada Vox.

Once one of the most popular shows on television, if not the most popular, ratings had declined for Idol’s last few seasons on Fox. Nevertheless, it still managed to produce some phenomenal musical talent. The most recent winner, Trent Harmon, released his debut album You Got ‘Em All last week, while that season’s runner-up, La’Porsha Renae, released hers last year. Other winners from this stretch include Nick Fradiani, Caleb Johnson (whose debut album is currently out of print), and Candice Glover.

Prior to that, Seasons 1 through 11 were the show’s heyday, shining a spotlight on a number of young singers that would emerge as musical superstars. The audience was hooked from the start, when Kelly Clarkson took the first season crown over runner-up Justin Guarini. She is now one of the biggest names in music. The same can be said for Carrie Underwood, the winner of Season 4, who served as a mentor this season and whose new album Cry Pretty is coming in September. She’s carved out an enormous career in country music, as has Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, who dropped his most recent album, Seasons Change, in March. Other winners from these seasons are Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, and Phillip Phillips.

Of course, sometimes contestants that don’t win end up doing pretty well for themselves in the music world as well. One of the biggest names to come out of American Idol has been Jennifer Hudson, who actually placed seventh in the show’s third season, and who has won an Academy Award for her acting skills in addition to two Grammy Awards for her music. The Season 8 runner-up was Adam Lambert, who has had an impressive solo career, toured as the frontman for Queen, and starred as Eddie in the 2016 version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Other notables include Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Danny Gokey, Crystal Bowersox, and Colton Dixon, while a number of alumni, including Season 10’s Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams, have performed as part of musical sensation Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox.

So make sure you have music from all these winners and contestants on your shelves and be on the lookout for upcoming albums from this season’s performers as well, because Idol is back. The show has already been renewed for a second season on ABC and seventeenth overall, with Ryan Seacrest and all of this season’s judges returning. With the show back in the spotlight, your patrons will be looking for music from all these incredible performers.

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