You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘American Idol’: Disney’s Hollywood Records Will Release Music by Finalists (EXCLUSIVE)

Future finalists and winners of ABC’s “American Idol” reboot will be recording their debuts for Hollywood Records, Variety has learned. It is the first time the Disney label has been affiliated with the show, which ran for 15 seasons on Fox, and follows previous “Idol” pacts with Sony Music, Interscope Records and Big Machine Label Group. Hollywood was also the label partner for ABC’s “Boy Band,” which aired this summer.

When “American Idol” first premiered in 2002, contestants were initially signed to a management deal with parent corporation 19 Entertainment (producer of the original “Idol” show) and a recording contract with SonyBMG.  At the time, the mega-label served as the parent company to Arista, Columbia, Epic, Jive and RCA records.

Shortly after her victory as the first “Idol” winner, Kelly Clarkson released her coronation single, “A Moment Like This,” through RCA Records. Her debut, “Thankful,” set the “Idol” bar high early with 2.8 million albums. Her sophomore album, “Breakaway,” nearly tripled those numbers in 2004 with 6.3 million sales. Runner-up Justin Guarini also released his debut through the label, but was dropped not long after.

Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard released his debut, “Soulful,” with J Records, only to be topped by runner-up Clay Aiken, whose “Measure of a Man” sold 2.7 million units and was released by RCA in 2003. Aiken’s hot streak continued in 2004 with the release of “Merry Christmas With Love,” and 1.4 million sales.

Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino was signed to J Records, releasing her debut “Free Yourself” in 2004 with sales topping 1.8 million. Runner-up Diana DeGarmo also was awarded a record deal with RCA, as would Jennifer Hudson who remains signed to the label today.

Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood not only opened the floodgates for future “Idol” country stars, but scored big with Arista Nashville when her debut, “Some Hearts,” sold 7.4 million copies. Season 4 runner-up Bo Bice was picked up by RCA andseason 5 winner Taylor Hicks signed with Artista, selling 705,000 of his eponymous debut, considered a low ebb benchmark for winners at the time. Runner-up Katharine McPhee inked a deal with RCA, selling 365,500, but it was fourth place contestant Chris Daughtry who emerged as the record-selling powerhouse of that season selling 5 million copies of his debut, “Daughtry.”

Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks improved winner sales numbers by selling 1 million copies of her 2007 debut on Jive Records/19 Recordings/Zomba Label Group. Runner-up Blake Lewis’ debut “A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream),” released through Arista Records, topped out at 308,000.

Season 7 saw winner David Cook’s RCA/19 Recordings debut sold a cool 1.3 million in 2008, with runner-up David Archuleta signing to Jive and selling 765,000 that same year.

In 2009, season 8 winner Kris Allen’s eponymous Jive Records/29 Recordings album debuted, selling 346,000, while runner-up and future Queen frontman Adam Lambert’s RCA debut, “For Your Entertainment,” outsold those numbers the same year with 863,000.

Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze didn’t fare as well, as his RCA debut, “Live it Up,” didn’t reach Gold certification and stalled at 178,000. Interestingly enough, runner-up Crystal Bowersox’s debut, “Farmer’s Daughter,” was released through Jive and outsold the winner with 230,000.

Season 9 also saw the departure of Simon Cowell, and the show underwent an overhaul in Season 10 with the addition of judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez and a partnership with Interscope Records and Jimmy Iovine. The result was a country showdown between Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, with victor McCreery making the show a player on the sales charts with his debut, “Clear as Day,” selling 1.1 million records for Mercury Nashville. Runner-up and future Country Music Award best new artist nominee Lauren Alaina’s RCA release, “Wildflower,” sold 303,000.

That gold streak continued with the white hot success of Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, as his Interscope debut, “The World from the Side of the Moon,” not only sold 1 million copies but caught national attention when his coronation song, “Home,” was featured in the 2012 Olympics as the theme for the Women’s Gymnastics team. Jessica Sanchez was also signed to Interscope, with “Me You and the Music” selling 14,000 its first week of release.

Subsequent seasons saw a downward trend and the end of the show’s relationship with Interscope, with Season 12 winner Candice Glover’s “Music Speaks” selling 27,000 and Season 13 rocker Caleb Johnson’s “Testify” stalling at 24,000, both in 2014.

In Seasons 14 and 15, the show partnered with Nashville’s Big Machine Records and new mentor Scott Borchetta, inking deals for winners Nick Fradiani and Trent Harmon, with a runner-up La’ Porsha Renae signed as the first artist in a deal with Motown Records. Fradiani’s 2016 debut, “Hurricane,” (Big Machine/Republic/Dot) sold 5,000 copies, while Harmon has yet to release a full album and Renae’s “Already All Ready” debuted at No. 15 on the R&B charts. Her debut single, “Battles,” sold 7,000 copies and was also featured as the official song for the United States Women’s Gymnastics Team for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content