Congratulations to Katharine McPhee.  Starring in the new NBC drama, Smash has its perks–she just signed a solo record deal with Columbia records.  The label will also release music from the soundtrack of the show.  Via Deadline:  (Read the official press release HERE.)

NBC has signed a deal with Columbia Records for the soundtrack of the network’s new musical drama series Smash. Additionally, Columbia has signed a solo recording pact with Smash breakout star and American Idol alumna Katharine McPhee. I hear Columbia, which also handles the soundtracks for Glee and the upcoming X Factor, landed the rights to Smash after a bidding war. The deal, brokered by NBCUniversal TV Consumer Products Group, gives Columbia Records worldwide, digital and physical rights to the first season of Smash, with options to subsequent seasons.

Smash, is set to debut on NBC mid-season behind The Voice on Mondays. It  stars Debra Messing, Christian Borle,  Katharine McPhee and Anjelica Huston and follows the creation of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe.

Methinks 2012 is going to be the year of Katharine McPhee

ETA: Katharine released her post-Idol debut with RCA, her second album and a Christmas album with Verve. As folks in comments are speculating, her contract with Verve was either up, or they released her. Columbia is a much bigger label. Kat’s connection to a potential hit show will translate into primo promotion–something Verve couldn’t give her. This new deal is a very good thing.

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  • girlygirl

    I thought Kat already had a record deal???

    NikkiFinke
    #Columbia Records Teams With NBC For ‘Smash’ Music Albums, Inks Solo Recording Deal With Co-Star Kathatine McPhee http://dlvr.it/Vk6zC

  • http://www.kellydeanhansen.com MahlerFan

    Wow. This just goes to show that it’s never too late and patience can pay off. Despised by fans of Elliott and Chris, criticized mercilessly for missing the first part of the tour, single totally overshadowed by Taylor’s, first album quite good, but disappointing in sales, second and third efforts not exactly earth-shattering. But now she can give RCA a big “neener-neener” because, if “Smash” is as good as the buzz says it is, her Columbia record will go platinum. I’d like to see other idols whose debut offerings disappoint (looking at you, Allison I.) have the chance to come back a few years later with something triumphant like this.

    This is actually a very inspirational story for other Idol also-rans, no matter what you may think of Kat. This is just a feel-good, hopeful story in every way.

  • http://www.kellydeanhansen.com MahlerFan

    I thought Kat already had a record deal???

    The second album and the Christmas CD were released by Verve. Columbia is MUCH bigger than Verve.

  • windmills

    Congratulations Kat! I’m really hoping Smash lives up to the hype. The cast is certainly strong and it’s cool seeing how NBC believes in the show.

    girlygirl: I’m guessing Kat’s deal with Verve ran its course and either Verve didn’t have an option for another album or it didn’t exercise its option for another album.

    It’d be pretty cool to see her break out and make an impact this many years after her season of AI. Good for her for continuing to work for this.

    Just a guess but I think Katharine’s solo album won’t be CHR type pop, but AC pop/standards/pop jazz with even some show tunes-style ballads thrown in. I think that’s always the kind of music she gravitated towards anyway.

  • blmetsfan

    Despised by fans of Elliott and Chris

    Really? I liked all 3! Congrats to Katherine. Season 5 really has been a standout in terms of their success after the show, i.e. Chris, Mandisa, Elliott, Taylor and soon hopefully Katherine.

  • Ringo

    Looks like I should head back to the Idol fan page and gloat that “I told you she would be bigger than Taylor!” I sounds like this show is right in her wheelhouse. And no offense to Taylor who catches far more crap from Secrest on down than he deserves.

  • McCreerian

    Does this mean she isn’t with Verve anymore?

  • http://www.kellydeanhansen.com MahlerFan

    Does this mean she isn’t with Verve anymore?

    If she was, she probably asked Verve to release her, and I’m sure they would have obliged with such an opportunity opening up.

  • hazuki

    So glad for her!! yesss no more verve thank god.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    Let’s keep this thread focused on Kat please.

  • http://www.kellydeanhansen.com MahlerFan

    It may be smaller-scale, but this story is somewhat reminiscent of J-Hud. Kat didn’t have as far to climb as Jennifer did, nor is a role on a mid-season replacement pilot quite the same as an Oscar, but still…it’s just difficult not to find this story thrilling from the perspective of being a general “Idol” fan.

  • Trina

    This is MUCH bigger than Verve! And hopefully Columbia will give her the right material. Girl is going to have one hell of a showcase when this show starts up. Everytime I see a preview I get this gut feeling the show and Kat are both going to blow up, and believe me I was never that into her!

  • Mad_World

    This is amazing!! I have loved this girl for 5 years, I have read so much bullshit and wank about her and it was all undeserved!!! I have always known Katharine was a star. ALWAYS!!! This is amazing!!! Whooooooooooo Hoooooooooooo!!!!!!!

  • chrislongisland

    I always liked Kat. I even own the singles for Over It and Terrified. Loved when she went folk / singer-songwriter.

  • iluvai

    This is amazing!! I have loved this girl for 5 years, I have read so much bullshit and wank about her and it was all undeserved!!! I have always known Katharine was a star. ALWAYS!!! This is amazing!!! Whooooooooooo Hoooooooooooo!!!!!!!

    Me too! She’s my favorite idol. (Well, tied with Adam.)

  • girlygirl

    I don’t know that if the show is a big success it’ll necessarily mean Kat’s solo CD will go platinum. For example, Glee is a huge success, but the actors who have released their own solo albums haven’t been able to capitalize on that connection in terms of big sales. She could have a very successful album, but it certainly isn’t a guarantee.

    But congrats to Kat for getting this deal. Good luck to her!

  • http://myspace.com hgzaj

    She deserves this. And hopefully it will actually do something for her. It should.

    Exciting!

  • Milly21

    Wow im THRILLED for Kat. i think this show is going to be a huge success. who knows, if glee can get emmy nominations for their cast and Kat appears to be the big star of the show, and this show looks like its gonna be a bigger budget, better produced show than glee, then maybe we’ll see an emmy nomination for kat in the future. and believe me i was never a big fan of kat but i always thought she was far more marketable than taylor. also, season 5 has really produced some stars. its the shows most succesful season.

    cant wait for the show to premiere. katharine must be soo excited! the show seems to be right up her alley. and i hope Columbia will a good musical direction for her. Sony is complete garbage with finding the musical direction of these idol contestants, really really terrible with nearly every contestant, they let their artists crash and burn.

  • Mad_World

    Me too! She’s my favorite idol. (Well, tied with Adam.)

    Exact same with me!! I wonder if we know each other outside of here with different names…….

  • Indigobunting

    Congrats Kat.

    This shows it pays to diversify your talent and make connections!

  • xoxoyc

    Katharine is still my favorite from all ten seasons. Her voice just blows me away and tells a story like few artists can do. I was disappointed to see her struggle so in the years after idol. She totally deserves this! And I believe she is the first idol to have record deals with three different labels? I hope Columbia uses her talent correctly and doesn’t try to unnecessarily sex her up like RCA did or put her in the adult AC wheelhouse like Verve did. I can’t wait to watch this all unfold!!

  • CCOREY2034

    OMG this is so awesome for Katharine McPhee. First of all I think SMASH will be a good hit for NBC. Its following the Voice and the Voice is getting super bowl attention. IMO this will do what Dreamgirls did for Jennifer Hudson. OMG Columbia Records is a great big label. As the saying goes THIRD TIME HAS TO BE THE CHARM HERE. I always thought she was great on Idol, I never forgot her Come Rain or Come Shine or my favorite Over the Rainbow.

    The problem with the RCA debut was they did what RCA does, totally screwed her album by pushing some generic R&B type album on her. Katharine is jazz and blues and alot of other talents. She had one hit off of it. The one thing I loved is her long brown hair, it was such a staple on Idol. RCA screwed her debut just like they have done many Idols by pushing generic manufactured crap and hoping it would stick.

    The second time around IMO was even worse then her first album. Verve totally wanted her to be so different from the way she was on Idol they made her unrecognizable. That horrid short blond haircut was just terrible and plus the music/CD to me felt like they were trying to make Katharine something she wasn’t. It just didn’t see her at ALL. I hated that blond hair.

    The third time around, shes with a much better label, the brown locks are back and she is starring in a new big show. I think we could finally see finally after five years that Katharine McPhee is a star. She just had bad management/labels that didn’t utiliize the girl we fell in love with on Idol

  • Trina

    She doesnt need to sell platinum to be considered a success, especially in todays world of music where the bar is way, way lower than it ever was. Hell the amount of albums she sold under RCA that got her dropped would be considered successful today.

  • Mel1

    I think the difference between Kat and the other idols is that she has some experience acting and has always wanted to pursue that as well as singing. I always had the feeling she would have success at acting before singing. Unfortunately the few acting parts she has had so far never focused on her beauty. I think that is her bread and butter. Oh, and she can sing too.

    I do believe this will be Kat’s big break, like Dreamgirls was for J-Hud. A star named Katherine McPhee is finally born.

  • Willis

    I too think this is Kat’s time. I thought she was good and believable in house bunny. I buy her as an actress. I only like Over It and Everywhere I Go from her first album. Her live version of Me is probably my favorite recording of hers. I hope the music on this show is good as I could very well purchase it.

  • J.S.G.

    “Mary Jane” is my favorite Katharine McPhee music. Wish she had of recorded it.

    I blame the labels, but Kat’s inability to define herself musically
    is another reason she really hasn’t sold much music.

    ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ the Chris Botti edition is pretty spectacluar, so maybe it is with the old standards that Katharine will soar.

  • CRB

    Verve should have promoted Katharine’s album better than they did and Had It All wasn’t exactly a great single…it actually sounded country the way it was produced. Kat’s been my favorite since season five and it’s nice to see good things finally starting to come her way in acting as well as singing.

  • chrislongisland

    She was also hilarious on Community as Pierce’s daughter.

  • cowboysfan

    I think she will eventually be the most successful Season 5 contestant.

  • xoxoyc

    JSG her under my skin is one of my favorites!

  • windmills

    CCOREY2034: The second time around IMO was even worse then her first album. Verve totally wanted her to be so different from the way she was on Idol they made her unrecognizable. That horrid short blond haircut was just terrible and plus the music/CD to me felt like they were trying to make Katharine something she wasn’t. It just didn’t see her at ALL. I hated that blond hair.

    I thought the music on Katharine’s Verve album was much closer to what she’d like to be doing and I thought Verve was very good about letting her develop musically. I don’t know if Verve is the one that can be blamed for the haircut/change of hair color.

    I can’t really get behind blaming Verve for Kat’s pop album not selling other than picking a bad single. But they probably thought riding Kara’s name would’ve helped. Little did they know the Kara song they should’ve picked was Terrified. But Verve doesn’t exactly have a big CHR or HAC promo team or anything and I expect Kat signed with them with her eyes wide open about that. They’re a small label that oversees acts putting together albums with solid material and don’t go all out with promo.

    CRB: Verve should have promoted Katharine’s album better than they did and Had It All wasn’t exactly a great single…it actually sounded country the way it was produced.

    I will never understand where people get the idea that Had It All sounded country. The instrumentation wasn’t country and the way Kat sang it had nothing to do with country. Just because it happened to be more of a melody based song than a beat based song doesn’t mean it was country – it was still pure pop.

    Columbia’s a bigger label but that doesn’t mean they’ll do the right things with Kat. They’ve had their share of misses too. I hope they make a good album with Kat but I think it’s naive to think they’re suddenly going to do everything right that you think Kat’s other labels did wrong.

  • Tera2

    Good for Katharine McPhee. She’s one of my favorites and has a great voice. I heard her Christmas single couple yrs ago sold half a million, and that’s pretty good numbers. She had some good songs from her last CD too. I guess Smash is another music talent show I have to check out now.

  • adamlambert

    Yay! I love Katharine Mcphee!!! Good for her! She’s the hottest idol ever! Beautiful Controlled Powerfu vocals!

  • HR

    Kat has had several chances to succeed in music and a few re-inventions that were supposed to be the “real her”. I can’t agree all blame must be placed on her labels and if only this or that had been done she’d have succeeded.

    I am rooting for her with her latest venture. I love seeing success follow the season five contestants and if this proves to be her big break that’s another good mark for my favorite season of Idol.

  • escape

    Congratulations to Kat. So much for the know it alls who constantly bashed her.

  • McCreerian

    This is actually a very inspirational story for other Idol also-rans, no matter what you may think of Kat. This is just a feel-good, hopeful story in every way.

    Yes, this gives me hope for some of the idols who have been dropped by their major labels like Archie, Diana, and Allison. It would be cool to see her make it big.

    I also love how successful Season 5 is. Daughtry and Kellie have done really well and have sold over a million albums. Bucky has had some country hits and Mandisa is doing very good with Christian music. Elliott had a radio hit that I still hear on the radio often to this day. Ace is doing a lot of Broadway shows. I hope Season 10′s success is similar to this.

  • http://www.kellydeanhansen.com MahlerFan

    I heard “Over It” on the Muzak at the grocery store the other day. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing.

  • Junior

    windmills says:
    06/09/2011 at 10:53 pm

    I agree 100% with the above post.

    That pop dreck she released on her first CD was just awful. I was never a big fan to begin with but I actually really like her second CD. I think it is much closer to who she really is as an artist.

    I wish her all the best and i’m looking forward to Smash.

  • luly

    Congrats!

  • Pixie Baker

    escape says:
    06/10/2011 at 12:02 am
    Congratulations to Kat. So much for the know it alls who constantly bashed her.

    I was one of the above *know it alls* :) who didn’t like Kat. Actually, I thought she was beautiful and had talent but disliked the route she was taking….(to start out with the cover of her first album!)….and thought she was grasping at straws trying to find something that stuck….Pop,jazz, acting etc. But, maybe now she has found her niche and we will see her succeed. I love it when she sings ballads and hope we will hear some when she is on the new show. I do love it when past Idols are happy and find some success!

  • http://www.kellydeanhansen.com MahlerFan

    Yeah, that first album cover didn’t do her any favors. Everyone knew she was beautiful, but she was never really known for “sexing it up” on Idol, and it just seemed superficial. And the album had nothing on it that was remotely similar to her biggest moments from the show, and specifically nothing like the three songs she sang on the tour. It wasn’t a bad album–I really thought that “Open Toes” was the only track that really sucked rocks–but weirdly, it didn’t seem like “her.” We had an image of her based on what we saw on Idol, and that album just didn’t fit. I guess “Over It” was as close as it got, and tellingly, that was the only song that caught on–well enough to be playing on grocery store Muzaks in 2011 anyway!

  • BootStar

    Good for Kat! I actually really liked her second album, but I’ve never followed her closely, so I have no idea what her “real sound” is. Regardless, artists should be allowed to experiment and evolve. I really think, for most artists, measuring “success” should be viewed more like a marathon and less like a sprint. She’s been a working singer/actress for several years now, and the oppotunities just appear to be increasing. (And I hope her new show is as good as it sounds on paper. Lord knows we could use some good non-”reality” scripted shows on network TV!)

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    Not sure what sort of music she’ll release this time, but I’m looking forward to checking out the show. Will it be songs from the show or originals? Or both?

  • moadms

    I’ve loved Kat from the moment she kissed Paula on the lips. I love that kind of spontaneity. Maybe that’s why I love James so much. I never got the hate for her. She seemed to have the “it” to me: beautiful voice, beautiful and she commanded the stage with many of her performances. Thought she was really charismatic. I thought she would get all kinds of endorsement opportunities because of her look and was really surprised that didn’t happen.

  • xoxoyc

    Mo: she had an endorsement deal with big, sexy hair for awhile.