Kree Harrison Label Update: Not Signed By UMG Nashville

Hits Daily Double’s Rumor Mill is reporting that UMG Nashville has passed on its option to sign this season’s American Idol runner-up Kree Harrison:

MORE IDOL SPECULATION: Wonderers wondering about Idol Season 12 runner-up Kree Harrison. The singer thus far remains unsigned after UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan, who had first right of refusal, opted not to pick up the option (only show winners are guaranteed a label deal). While, some observers blame the tough environment for female singers at Country radio, the situation has some asking if the bloom is off the Idol rose. Where will the talented Harrison, repped by Jason Morey’s 19 Entertainment, end up? (7/2a)

As disappointing as this is (Kree would be the first Idol runner-up not to release an album with Idol’s affiliated major label), it probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, between the uphill battle for women at country radio and the already crowded roster at UMG Nashville. Here’s a more detailed look at those circumstances, and a look at what may be ahead for Kree.

The Uphill Climb For Women At Country Radio
As HDD mentions, it is absolutely brutal for women trying to break through at country radio. In October 2012, Mike Dungan made some pointed remarks about the difficulties of breaking a new female act on country radio to The Tennessean:

When Mike Dungan signed new artist Kelleigh Bannen to a Capitol Records Nashville record deal, he told her he would rather be “the guy who had to go put out the oil rig fire” than to try to make it in country music as a new female solo artist.

“I looked at her, someone I like very much, and I said, ‘You realize that you’ve chosen a path that is maybe the most difficult on the planet,’ ” recalled Dungan, who is now chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville.

The current country radio t20 has all of 1 solo female: superstar Carrie Underwood, who is joined by 2 other females between #20 and #30 on the country radio charts (Sheryl Crow, in her first full-fledged solo country effort, and critical darling/Kree friend Kacey Musgraves). There are only three consistent female hitmakers at country radio: Carrie, Miranda Lambert, and Taylor Swift, and the latter has a more uncertain relationship with country fans and the country world these days thanks to her pop album Red. Kacey Musgraves is attempting to be the first new solo female act to follow up a t10 hit with a t20 hit since Miranda Lambert did it in early 2010. Yeah, it’s that bad.

It’s not for lack of females trying. Among major label acts, Elektra Nashville/W.A.R.’s Jana Kramer (who first became known to the public while starring in One Tree Hill) scored a t5 hit last year with “Why Ya Wanna,” but the follow-up single “Whiskey” didn’t make t25. Arista Nashville’s Kristen Kelly debuted with a t30 single “Ex Old Man” but couldn’t crack the t50 with the follow-up “He Loves To Make Me Cry.” EMI Nashville’s Kelleigh Bannen didn’t crack t40 with her debut single “Sorry On The Rocks.” Joanna Smith recently parted ways with Columbia Nashville after releasing four singles that didn’t crack the t50. Idol alum and Mercury Nashville recording act Lauren Alaina had one t30 single and two t40 singles, but looks to be in for a very slow climb with the lead single from her sophomore album, as “Barefoot & Buckwild” has yet to chart four weeks after going for adds. Even pop superstar Kelly Clarkson hasn’t been able to crack the t20 in 2 solo attempts promoted by Sony Nashville labels, despite high profile support from her friends in country music and high profile showcase opportunities on country awards shows.

On the indie side, Katie Armiger, Sarah Darling, Jaida Dreyer and Maggie Rose have attempted to work their way up the charts, and only Rose has even managed to crack the t40. Even Kellie Pickler, who is riding such a high profile after her victory on Dancing With The Stars has yet to crack the t50 with her well-acclaimed new single “Someone Somewhere Tonight,” and this is with a label that is fighting hard for her with consecutive weeks of ad support when the song was first released.

Now we have two Voice winners promoted by Big Machine Label Group, pop/rock singer Cassadee Pope who is currently charting and teen ingenue Danielle Bradbery, whose label has been teasing new music soon, with a third Voice alum, RaeLynn (now a Valory/Republic Records act and signed as a songwriter by Big Machine’s joint publishing venture with Dr. Luke’s Prescription Songs) waiting in the wings. One can’t help but wonder if this sudden glut of Voice alums contributed to the recent parting of ways between Big Machine Records and highly touted 17 year old singer/songwriter Ella Mae Bowen, whom Big Machine had been developing for over two years.

No Room At UMG Nashville
In addition to the odds being stacked against female at country radio, the odds were probably stacked against a new signing at UMG Nashville based on an overcrowded roster. The recent Universal-EMI merger, executive shuffle, and the ensuing layoffs and roster cuts still left UMG Nashville with a pretty bloated roster. Mercury Nashville alone is pushing current singles from Easton Corbin, Billy Currington, Kacey Musgraves, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and Chris Stapleton. Sister label MCA Nashville (also part of UMG Nashville) is pushing singles from Kip Moore, Gary Allan, , Drake White, David Nail, and soon, George Strait. Capitol Nashville, now part of the UMG Nashville family, currently has Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Jon Pardi, and Dierks Bentley on the charts with Darius Rucker set to release a new single next week. Only EMI Nashville, which just finished a successful run of five singles for Eric Church’s Chief, seems less active as Eric Paslay is its only currently charting act. But EMI Nashville has struggled with radio when it comes to everybody other than Eric Church.

Negative Buzz Surrounding Idol’s Season 12
There’s also the issue of the negative buzz surrounding this Idol season. Idol’s ratings decline this season has been much discussed, resulting in the jettisoning of 3/4 of s12’s judging panel (only Keith Urban stands a chance of returning) as well as Idol’s longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, and likely contributing to the departure of FOX’s head of alternative programming Mike Darnell. Despite widespread respect for the talent of this season’s women (especially its t3), sales proved anemic (and the summer tour has had to cancel dates), with Kree’s “All Cried Out” selling just 24k after its debut on the Idol t2 performance show.

It’s likely that, her gorgeous voice notwithstanding, Kree would’ve needed a good-sized push at country radio. UMG Nashville is juggling too many acts in the first place, and would likely not have been able to provide that.

Moving Forward
Still, Kree has been doing what she needs to do. She maintained a high-profile during CMA Fest, making her debut at the Grand Ole Opry with a set that earned her a standing ovation from the full house, performing with her long-time idol Wynonna, performing at the CMT Music Awards, and singing the “Star Spangled Banner” and playing in the annual City Of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge. It appears that 19 has facilitated writing appointments for her, as Kree recently tweeted:

Chris DeStefano has written with and for many Idols – in the country world he cowrote #1 hit “Good Girl” with Ashley Gorley and Carrie, cowrote “Barefoot & Buckwild” with Jon Nite and Lauren, and he cowrote Scotty’s “Better Than That” with Jess Cates and Craig Wiseman. He has branched out in the country world, cowriting Chris Young’s current single “Aw Naw,” the Eli Young Bang album cut “Every Other Memory,” and more cuts. DeStefano and Catt Gravitt collaborated with Ashley Gorley on the aforementioned Jana Kramer hit “Why Ya Wanna,” while Gravitt cowrote Jake Owen’s #1 hit “Alone With You” with J.T. Harding and Shane McAnally.

We also know that Kree has been writing in Nashville for years, and with songs like “You Would’ve Wanted It That Way” (which Kree cowrote with Natalie Hemby and Trent Dabbs) in her pocket, it surely makes sense for a publishing company to sign Kree, if she’s interested in a deal.

Looking ahead, we may see 19E arranging for Kree to meet with other Nashville labels after preparing a CD of demos she can pitch. In Kree Harrison, 19 has a voice that would immediately stand out in the country world and a talent and person who is already well-loved among top-flight singer/songwriters in Nashville (from Kacey to Carrie to Keith to Charlie Worsham to Sarah Buxton to Kate York to Little Big Town to Lady Antebellum to the Brothers Osborne). Kree eventually landing with a record deal seems like a no-brainer. It’s not clear whether 19E’s relationship with Kree will extend beyond the summer tour. But you would think and hope that 19E would make it a point to support the top-tier talent from season 12, if for no other reason than to salvage something from season 12 and reinforce Idol’s main selling point compared to other singing shows in the US: it discovers premiere talent and launches viable careers.

  • b_james

    I’m really not worried about her. She has people. Even if she does more of the songwriting route, she’ll be fine.

  • girlygirl

    This could be a blessing in disguise. If she signs with a label not affiliated with UMG, there might be less reason to market her as an ex-idol, and instead just push her as a new country artist. With all the support she has in Nashville, I can’t see her not getting signed by somebody.

    But this writeup is very telling about just how difficult it is for female country artists to break through. I’m not a country music person, but it doesn’t seem like it was always this difficult — Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Reba McIntire, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Wynonna Judd, etc, all became huge stars.

    I know country music has always had the good ole boy rep and powered by male artists, but it does seem like there used to be more of an equal balance. When did it really become so hard for new female artists to break through?

  • Tinawina

    Boo!!!! I really wanted a Kree album. Ugh.

  • MichaelG (MikhailXO)

    With lesser vocalists spawned from these shows such as Cassadee and Danielle signed on (automatically), you’d think they’d recognise Kree’s superior talent. Perhaps it be true that this market is deluged now.

    Well, their loss.

  • Anny_nanny

    I won’t lie that surprised.

  • bridgette12

    I don’t think this should come as a surprise. It wasn’t as if she stood out and had the audience talking about her. She’s another artist from season 12 that didn’t make an lasting impact and won’t be signed. She might want to stick with something she do better, write songs.

  • MV007

    Cassadee is one thing but I think an argument can be made that Danielle is just as talented if not more so than Kree when you consider their ages and experience levels.

  • girlygirl

    I think another label will sign her.

  • girlygirl

    We still haven’t heard anything about Angie getting signed, either. Maybe UMG passed on her, too?

  • irockhard

    Oh c’mon! You will get a Kree album, you’ll just have to wait a bit longer.

  • Tinawina

    I don’t think it’s that deep. Danielle and Casadee both won so they got deals. Nothing to do with talent levels. Raelynn was pushed through by her powerful mentor.

  • Incipit

    UMG really has no idea what to do with the Top Two from Season 12, do they? Or Angie. Or even Jessica, who may have been better served if they ‘had’ passed, who knows?

    And if Kree had won, they would have been obliged to sign her – and then what?

    smh.

  • Anny_nanny

    Why? She has not acquired for AI nothing – she has not buzz, she has not been signed. She had a relationship in Nashville BEFORE the AI, but she hadn’t contract.
    I don’t see that it received a contract for the album, and she not be able to sell singles, especially outside a major label.

  • irockhard

    Honestly it’s actually better for her as Interscope/UMG only really promote the winners anyway. She’ll get a deal eventually.

  • Tinawina

    Yes but I an spoiled. I wanted it sooner rather than later. LOL

  • Amy Beth

    Given that Kree has been active in the Nahville music scene for a long time (demos, background singing), I wonder if the label had already passed on her pre-Idol and simply saw nothing new that would change their minds.

  • irockhard

    LOL, waiting for stuff you want sucks I know. But she’s free to find a better deal now.

  • chillj

    I think there is a place for Kree, but maybe just not in pop country. I find myself listening to Lucinda Williams and Eliza Gilkyson, when I never listen to country singers. They are raw folk/country. Williams is addictive; I never thought I could listen to a whole cd of hers, but I do and I love it.

    Kree can do something similar. She has the voice, now she just needs her own music. There is a place to go if she can write.

  • girlygirl

    Because she has more buzz & more people with klout in her corner now than she did before she was on Idol. I’m not saying that a major label will sign her, but I’d be really surprised if she can’t find any label to give her a chance — she is very talented, even if she doesn’t have great stage presence.

  • perfectstorm

    I don’t think it’s because they have no idea of what to do. Kree like Candice, both are terrific singers. But we all know it takes more than that. I don’t think either are that marketable. Same thing with Jessica.

  • Anny_nanny

    I am ready to the question: do we have a chance to gain new season without returning anyone from last season? (But they can always invite Lazaro, that he forgot the words of another song.)
    Thanks for the replies, I’m waiting the storm shelter.

  • jpfan2

    I think Kree will be fine but I’m not surprised by this. I don’t think Angie Miller will get signed either (except by a Christian label). This season was really a disaster for the show in a lot of way.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Does anyone know when 19R/Interscope deal expires? I mean the contract between 19R and Interscope that they signed after 19R parted ways with RCA.

  • nncw

    I watched “Searching for Sugarman” recently and it really pointed out how really talented people can be left out in the music industry. It is especially interesting because this was during the 1970″s. We are often wondering why AI talent don’t “make it” (such as Kree not being picked up) and suggest reasons such as pirating, economy, social media, the artists not working hard enough, the record label’s lack of promotion, artist’s not having the “right” personality but in the end it boils down to one truth: there are many talented artists who are never fully appreciated for their talents often to no fault of their own. Terribly hard to survive as a musician which is a real shame. They are really brave to keep struggling – my hats off to them!

  • elliegrll

    This is why I said that this year’s crop didn’t help themselves. Yes, the season had a negative tone that wasn’t the contestants fault, and the producers failed to put the contestants in a position where they could showcase their strengths, but the personalities, or the lack of, hurt this season’s contestants. They are just not the type of reality show contestants that people going to become attached to, or support no matter what type of music they released.

    Kree is a good singer, and hopefully she’s making some contacts who will help her eventually land a contract.

  • ptebwwong

    I’m not surprised. She’s talented. But like windmills stated there are other factors involved (it’s hard for a female country artist, the label having too many artists, etc.).

    Also, I wouldn’t be surprised that she wasn’t signed to UMG Nashville because 2 recent Idols (Scotty & Lauren) are still with the label. This might have factored in because both of them did pretty good on their first albums. As a female country artist, Lauren did well (in sales & on radio). The problem is Kree is coming in with more disadvantages than Lauren did (Ex. seems like has less of a fanbase, worst Idol ratings in history for her season, bad coronation single sales, etc.). Did the label want another Idol alum on their roster when they don’t have to sign them? It looks like they didn’t.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    Except it won’t be made here. Let’s stay on topic. Thanks.

  • girlygirl

    I tried googling, but when they announced the deal back in 2010, no terms were revealed

  • Anny_nanny

    You forgive me, but Pia had more buzz and sold more singles not being the Top-2. And I’m glad that she has so successful album. *sarcasm* I want to see a list of labels which are ready to sign a country singer knowing that after Top 2 on AI and after a speech at the Opry, she could not sell 50K downloads.

  • girlygirl

    Pia’s buzz wasn’t really within the music community
    — it was much more media driven. She didn’t have the contacts in the pop music world that Kree does in the country music world, either.

  • Kitwana

    It’s too bad for Kree. A major label may not guarantee success but I think that every former Idol who has had a major label deal has said that they learned a lot from having it. The marketing that a major can provide, even if for one CD, is also valuable in building the contestant’s brand. And if the contestant can stretch the major label deal into 2 or 3 CDs, that’s even more learning and more contestant brand building. As I said, it’s really too bad for Kree. She deserved better.

  • bridgette12

    I remember during the season some people were saying that there was a buzz for her in Nashville and she had contacts that would help her get signed and when she made the finale, then same thing was repeated. I didn’t understand it because Kree never stood out except for the fact she was a country artist. Also considering the problem that females are having a harder time of breaking through, plus getting played on the radio than the guys , it didn’t make sense to have much hope for Kree getting signed.

  • resunikcufecin

    LOL. Pia was signed to a major record label. She had plenty of “contacts” in the music business.

  • Mateja Praznik

    What would be your definition of a marketable female contestant? For guys it’s obviously a WGWG.

  • usedtobelucy

    “Lucinda Williams…is addictive.”

    “There is a place to go if she [Kree] can write.”

    A hearty second to both of these thoughts.

  • elliegrll

    I think that for many of the current alums, the labels see that they no longer have the luxury of treating them like they are established artists. They have never been that, and have always needed help with artist development, but now it is worse, because radio no longer feels inclined to play their music, and they are not guaranteed to sell 500,000 albums to their AI fans.

  • LeoCS

    Oh, Candice wouldn’t get a record deal either if she were the runner-up. Country female singers may struggle in their market but the mainly problem wasn’t that. It was this terrible season and its terrible ratings. S12 cast don’t have too many fans to boost initially the sales and guarantee at least some income to the label.

  • Anny_nanny

    Again, Kree had all contacts before participating in the AI, but nobody had wish to invest in her and in her promotion. Yes, in AI-bubble know about her, but as the experience of her predecessors, it is worth nothing if you can’t get the buzz out of the bubble.
    Kree has a good single, she got the chance to perform on the Opry, but she hasn’t got a pulse on on iTunes shortly. I don’t understand why some label should decide that she is ready to sign.

  • elliegrll

    I think that Phillip showed that even if the ratings crash, someone can still do enough to gain AI fans, and stand out. Kree , Candice and everyone else from this season failed to do that.

  • usedtobelucy

    Kree’s young.

    If she actually can write well on a sustained basis, there’s nothing wrong with being a solid, in-demand songwriter who a bit later in life gets signed to do some mature album of your own stuff and creatively re-imagined covers on a strong indie label. You make a decent to good living, sing mainly in clubs. Develop yourself as a real artist on many levels.

    Then one day when you’re in your 30s you knock out at least a small, select audience with your critically acclaimed album. Then you go on writing and also get to play more and bigger clubs and theaters, maybe nationwide. And a lot of people say for years, Where has that wonderful voice been all this time? ….

    There are worse lives. Even in music. lol

    If Kree’s got the stuff, she can do this.

    Or maybe she’ll get signed next week to a better deal than UMG would have provided. Kinda doubt that, though.

    [… well, I just have to add this: lots of WGWGs in this story. They seem to be the ones *with* the contracts. just sayin]

    Really great post, windmills.

  • springboard2

    She was considered boring by a large proportion of the audience, and contributed to the low entertainment value of the season.

    She has some talent, she is a good singer, but it has never been enough for a career as a recording artist.
    So be it.

    IMHO, of course.

  • vdawg

    I feel bad for Kree , but I could see this coming. I hope she gets signed by a smaller label.

  • ptebwwong

    I know you’re not asking the question specifically to me about what makes a female artist marketable. But I agreed with perfectstorm’s comment that Kree, Candice, & Jessica weren’t marketable.

    IMO, unfortunately female artists in the current industry seem to be judged much more harshly than males. Many of them need to have the total package (voice, hit music, looks, stage presence/performance skills, media interest, etc.). The problem is with many of these female talent show contestants they are missing the total package. They are already coming in with a disadvantage of being on a talent show which radio & the music industry looks down on which doesn’t help them.

  • justmefornow

    Bingo.
    These labels signed most of the Idols years ago as easy money and sometimes for that reason alone.
    Aside from that, in this boring cast from S12, not one of them screamed “STAR”!
    None had that charisma that made any of them really memorable after the season was over.

  • chillj

    Sounds good to me; in fact, it sounds better than a cd the singer loathes with a major label and a quick career deflate if it doesn’t take off – and it is not likely to.

  • elliegrll

    She was a bad reality show contestant, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t be a successful recording artist.

    She made things harder on herself, but there are a lot of people who were popular AI contestants, who currently don’t have a contract.

  • taylor

    Coming from Idol, as it is today, with it’s current demo?
    Another Carrie Underwood: a beautiful, wholesome country winner. She MIGHT have a chance.

    Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia or Jordin would have a hard time winning Idol today and an even harder time getting support from its audience afterwards and the record label. All three of these women wouldn’t be seen as “marketable” if Candice, Kree and Angie aren’t.

  • ADRIANAARG1980

    Great Post, windmills, I Could learn more about Country Music.

  • PinkClouds20

    Kree doesn’t have look of a country star. Country stars all seem like blonde clones to me. I see Kree more of a cool indie artist with an incredible voice. Hope she finds her niche. Can’t let talent like that go to waste.

  • Sassycatz

    If Carrie Underwood didn’t have her looks, I don’t think she’d make it today. I’ve always found her music pretty generic, so — in my view — it’s the outer package that sells it. Not to say she can’t sing, but most Idol winners and runners-up can sing.

  • resunikcufecin

    I believe Angie confirmed in an interview that Interscope passed on her.

  • taylor

    You keep saying this about the country females and people keep giving you lists of country artists who are brunettes. Why are you focused on their hair? Because Carrie is a blonde?

  • vamp111

    Country stars all seem like blonde clones to me.

    Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Reba, Kacey Musgraves, Hilarly Scott(Lady A), etc. all say hi.

  • resunikcufecin

    I don’t agree at all. Kelly/Fantasia/Jordin would still be considered marketable.

  • halo9125

    IMO Interscope doesn’t know how to promote any of the kids they signed. Remember: P squared is successful in spite of Interscope- not because of them. Jessica received even worse promotion than Haley did (if that’s even possible).

    Do I think Kree is better off without Interscope? Absolutely. But do I think she’s going to get signed any time soon? That’s questionable.

  • vamp111

    Kree wouldn’t have been with Interscope anyway, she would have been shipped to a UMG country label like Scotty and Lauren.

  • Anny_nanny

    How many of them under the age of 30 and are in the Top 50 country now?

  • Happyhexer

    I am about ready to give up on country radio. I am so tired of all the male voices (a good chunk of which are mediocre). Aside from the solo females Windmills has noted, the only female voices I hear on the radio are in groups — duos, trios, quartets. And in most cases, the females voices are stronger than the male voices!

    Something needs to change. Despite her incredible vocal talent, Kree is going to have an uphill battle. But if she can write songs, that will help.

    OT, but I’d kind of like to see Cassadee fail. Partly because she needs to be in a music lane that suits her better, but mostly to provide space for a more deserving female country artist. There are certainly many of them!

  • halo9125

    The bigger picture is this: yes, Kree has a good voice, but there is nothing distinctive about it. She doesn’t have a particularly great look, and is totally lacking the “it” factor. Combine all that with the fact that record labels in general are not in good financial shape- well, Kree was doomed from the get-go.

  • windmills

    Kree hadn’t even gone for a record or publishing deal in the aftermath of her mother’s death. She was trying to get herself together on a personal level, and then work on herself as an artist before going for a deal again (going on AI was because she finally felt ready).

    You’re right that a major label is unlikely to sign Kree now based on her AI sales. But as crazy as this sounds, labels do sign people because of talent and songs.

    I’m not looking for Kree to be signed now, or even 3 months from now. But the AI platform has gotten Kree enough recognition that she’ll be able to write around town, her writer friends will write for her, and she’s got a better chance at securing quality material, plus a little extra name recognition from AI. If she can come to the table with the right songs the label can believe in, with her level of talent and the level of love her peers already have for her, she’ll get signed down the road. Not because she’s a super popular AI alum but because she’s a super talented singer with the right songs who just happens to have national name recognition.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Carrie? I doubt it. When Carrie was on Idol, she was no better than season 12’s girls. Technically good singer, a bit stiff and not showing much personality. To be honest, Candice performed a lot better than Carrie in her season. Also, Carrie wasn’t that thin during her season and her presentation was polished by teams of professionals over the years.

    But that was 2005. Idol was massive then and Carrie was the first country winner. Now it’s 2013. Things have changed. So, what would be a marketable female contestant in 2013? I keep thinking about marketable female singers in today’s music business and I just can’t see any of them going far on a conservative and old fashioned singing competition like Idol.

  • Tinawina

    Jordin wasn’t even considered marketable when she won. LOL

  • MichaelG (MikhailXO)

    That’s why I said “automatically”…so if the PTB measure the talent level, imo…then I feel they should look at Kree and say “no brainer”. But perhaps it’s my bias. I see her as twice as talented as Cassadee and Danielle.

  • windmills

    2 (Kacey and Hillary). Martina’s in between albums but working on new music.

  • Tinawina

    “I keep thinking about marketable female singers in today’s music business and I just can’t see any of them going far on a conservative and old fashioned singing competition like Idol.”

    I think that’s really the problem. What the audience will vote for and what will sell are 2 different animals.

  • http://primaryjunction.blogspot.com Kayla

    Country music has always been a man’s world. Dolly, Loretta, Tammy, Reba, etc. became superstars but it wasn’t easy. Dolly, Loretta, Tammy, and Kitty Wells specifically broke down major doors. In those days, there were very few, if any, songs written for women as men were doing the songwriting. Dolly, Loretta, and Kitty wrote their own songs, and that set them apart from the rest. In interviews they have all mentioned that to make it in country music, women have to work at least twice as hard as men.

  • PinkClouds20

    I’m not even sure if Kree is really country. On Idol she sang more bluesy/country rock type of songs. She didn’t sing any traditional country-twangy songs. So, she would have a hard fitting in on traditional country stations. JMO, of course.

  • SteelWauhterz

    Kree is what Kree is, a damned good backup singer. Look up backup singer in your Websters, and you will see a picture of Kree. Her slide on Idol happened because the potential stars, Angie, Janelle and Candice eclipsed her on stage. Stars know how to take ownership of a stage, that was not Kree, and the industry gatekeepers saw the same show we did. I’ve heard she’s a good writer, well, the same was said about Angie. Which had the confidence to perform their song live? A star would and did.

  • ptebwwong

    Talent & marketability are 2 different things. I like all 3 of them. However, IMO Kree has the most talent of the 3, but Danielle is the most marketable.

  • Anny_nanny

    I will try to explain what I think.

    I whole season was waiting flash from Kree (she was my favorite from the beginning of the season). But… it was BORING! In my country said “all genres are good except boring”. And I have not seen the x-factor, alas.

    I agree, current music world it’s all about the authors who write for you, if you can’t write yourself, but I don’t know how it works in country music. Will someone agrees to give song a little-known singer?
    And we all know that now the shelf life of fame from any show is short-lived. I believe that Kree could earn singing, I know what life is and outside major labels, but I am sorry that the Kree was a chance that she couldn’t use.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Bad news for Kree. But I see no x factor with her. Great country voice does not mean anything. Kree will do fine in the music biz.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Bad news for Kree. But I see no x factor with her. Great country voice does not mean anything. Kree will do fine in the music biz.

  • elliegrll

    And post AI, she wasn’t exactly popular among the core AI base.

  • elliegrll

    And post AI, she wasn’t exactly popular among the core AI base.

  • elliegrll

    There are a lot of attractive people who can’t sell diddly squat.

    There is also a huge difference between the way that Carrie has approached her post AI career, and the methods of some of the recent winners and runners up.

  • PinkClouds20

    Can stage presence be learned? But, you are correct, she’s a great singer with little/no stage presence.

  • taylor

    Kacey Musgraves, Jana Kramar, Martina McBride and Hillary Scott (of Lady A) are all brunettes.

  • windmills

    Kree is a songwriter, first of all, and for another, she’s very close friends with some excellent country songwriters, including Kacey Musgraves, Kate York, Sarah Buxton, and Charlie Worsham. My point all along has been that they’re more likely to want to work with her & giver her songs out of personal consideration (and also because she has a great voice).

    There is a tradition in country music of just standing there and singing. George Strait has crafted a legendary career out of it. It may not fly as much these days but Kree’s performance style was in no way out of place in country. Not to say that she can’t improve, because she definitely can and I get why people thought she made for boring TV. I just don’t agree that the things that made her boring TV and things that would hamper her as a country recording act.

  • Beaugard Stevens

    People have been saying for years the automatic signing of the runner-ups would stop- Kree seems to have talent, though, I would be surprised if someone does not pick her up.

  • LuckyDucjk

    You maybe right. Kree will be a great backup. Just like Judith Hill. Not every great singer can be a star. It’s a little luck and the it factor involved.

  • ptebwwong

    IMO Carrie didn’t have stage presence her Idol season. But she has worked on it over the years & IMO has great stage presence now. So I think it can be learned.

  • Anny_nanny

    It was sarcasm. I know who it is, and I don’t want to approach Hilarly with the same yardstick – she is in the group and it’s not the girls-band.
    Taylor, Carrie, Miranda, a girl from the Band Perry – they all blondes, template does not appear from nowhere.

  • gem2477

    Yeah, the problem for women in country music get worse when one realizes that the Carrie / Miranda / Taylor, who are the only successful women in country music (and one of them is not even country, uhem), are all on at least their fourth album and have been in the industry for almost a decade…..there hasn’t been a woman success in that long.

  • jobeob987

    Kree is an amazing bluesy singer … and yet I’m not at all surprised by this. If breaking into Country Music is really as competitive among women as it’s been said, then they need something besides a great singing voice to stand apart from the crowd and I’m afraid Kree doesn’t possess that (at least for now, anyway). I can actually picture Janelle Arthur — who doesn’t sing as well as Kree — breaking out in Country because she grabs your attention and keeps it. I wish both women well.

  • Anny_nanny

    If you say so, I’ll believe you.

  • gem2477

    I think that is likely.

  • taylor

    Candice and Carrie aren’t in the same genre. “Stiff” in country music has a different definition than it does in pop or urban music.

    Carrie was thin enough during Idol. What was she? A size six? She was young and beautiful. All she needed was a personal trainer to get from that “chunky” six six body to a size two.

    “Idol was massive then and Carrie was the first country winner. Now it’s 2013. Things have changed.”

    That’s why I said another Carrie type winner MIGHT have a shot. Old fashioned and country music still compliment each other.

  • Bugme Nomor

    In other words, Country Music is dominated by white guys with guitars.

  • Anny_nanny

    lol

  • gem2477

    I hope this is a good thing and that Kree will get signed by people who can build up a career instead of being signed by an too-busy label who doesn’t care.

  • perfectstorm

    I thought Janelle Arthur was more marketable than Kree. She wasn’t a better singer, but she had the personality, the look. She also took more risks, i.e., You Keep Me Hanging On.

  • irockhard

    LOL, yip.

  • PinkClouds20

    Wasn’t Jordin a teen when she won? Jordin was marketable to the teen market, so yes, she was considered marketable.

  • lollamape

    Sometimes i wonder why Kree doesn’t connect with Idol country audience and country audience in general, i mean her single didn’t even reach 50k with idol performance, CMT award, Opry and CMA fest appearance. Her performances on youtube significantly had the lowest number of viewers, i know country fans don’t like watching video on youtube but they’re very loyal and will buy their favorite country singer tracks and unfortunately it didn’t apply in Kree’s case.

    It’s really sad because she’s a great singer, one of the best country acts idol have ever had, her tone is so gorgeous, she’s a total sweetheart and has a really good and caring personality. Many people said she’s boring but that statement didn’t hurt Carrie, Scotty, Lauren, Danielle and their connectivity with country audience. I don’t know what is wrong with Kree, maybe she didn’t sing many country songs on idol, maybe she doesn’t have those typical country look (blonde hair, cowboy boots) or maybe simply she doesn’t have that ‘IT factor’. Oh well, that’s country fans loss, they’ve missed such a talented young lady with a beautiful and gorgeous voice.. Such a shame because i really love Kree..

  • vamp111

    Well she’s more country than Cassadee at least lol.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Kree does not fit the country pop mode. She has been in the biz for a long time. Some people have the it factor and if she did she would of been a star. Kree was on the popular Rosie O’Donell show (The Ellen of today) when Kree was 10, 11?

  • vamp111

    Sometimes it takes a long time to break into the business. Britney Spears was in the business for years and didn’t break out until later.

  • vamp111

    I think something that hurt her was not giving her any screen time until the later Hollywood rounds. Those who have their auditions shown get a head start in building a fanbase and get instant buzz. A lot of people get their minds made up as far as favorites very early.

  • PinkClouds20

    I think she didn’t connect because she’s not traditional country.

  • PinkClouds20

    I didn’t even know Cassadee was country. The few times I saw her on The Voice, I thought she was pop.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Great singer yes, IT factor no. There are tons of great singers. Just look at youtube. Even the people at Idol, Voice, X-factor, AGT scan those youtube videos and invite them to audition. Many have refused, because they can either hit or miss. Some do it for the additional expose that could lead to stardom. Most recently a brother and sister act was on AGT. They play small venues and have a youtube original hit.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLRepso3DCo

  • wordnerdarchie

    Well, Britney broke out at the age of 17? with Baby Hit Me One More Time, so I don’t know how long she struggled, lol.

  • lollamape

    Carrie, Lauren and Danielle weren’t a traditional country contestants when on the show but still connected with country audience, even Cassadee who really wasn’t a country act sold many tracks with her country song covers.

  • vamp111

    She was on Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club when she was younger.

    Katy Perry would probably be a better example lol. It took her awhile to finally breakout. She was doing Christian Music at first I think.

  • taylor

    She had a couple of years between the Mickey Mouse Club and getting signed to her first major label deal. Those were rough years in junior highschool. lol

  • usedtobelucy

    Indeed. If history shows anything, that would be it.

  • LuckyDucjk

    I feel Kree just lacked something that producers decided to pass on her. I don’t know, whatever it is, the people just are not interested.

  • PinkClouds20

    Maybe because they are blondes? Kidding.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Carrie was the first country singer and was really cute and pretty and nice figure. Lauren and Danielle has the young age factor.

  • vamp111

    Yeah, she is actually pop-punk, but Blake pushed country songs on her(even though she still didn’t sound country singing them) and she got signed to a country label, even though she said she was pop-rock LOL.

  • usedtobelucy

    Yeah, good point. Early on, they seemed to think that, not only would signing Idols be a slam dunk for sales — from all the apparently built-in marketing, but it would be a slam dunk for which you didn’t even have to go through any artist development.

    Now that it’s clear to them that this isn’t the case, I’m sure they see even more reasons not to sign these guys or to be extremely cautious when it comes to the few that they do sign.

  • lollamape

    I think that’s not the biggest issue, Kelly Clarkson didn’t have many screen time before live show (they actually didn’t show her audition) but it didn’t hurt her sales and she’s still the biggest name from her season.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Britney has that sex appeal, so did X-tina. They really promoted them that way. I don’t think you could do that with Kree. haha

  • Mahalo2

    After appearing on Rosie’s show, Kree was signed to a deal w/Lyric Street Records in Nashville when Kree was 10. Her family moved Nashville, then her father died in a plane crash when Kree was 11. She did not record an album, and parted ways with the company a couple of years later. She had a publishing deal with a record company at age 16, and was working on an album at age 19, when her mother died in a car accident. No one is saying Kree would have been successful (no one knows) had she recorded and released an album at a younger age — however, I think the tragic deaths of her parents derailed a lot of her recording plans. If you look at Youtube when she was on Rosie at age 10 ( a year before her father died) she appeared to be a much more confident, outgoing performer than she is now. My two cents. :)

  • vamp111

    With Kelly it was different because it was the first season and the audition episodes that season were actually the lowest as far as ratings.

  • Tinawina

    No she wasn’t. She was considered too heavy and too bland. Plus she was one of the least popular winners to date coming from what was then considered a bad season with a weak tour.

    It is only in retrospect that people think she’s marketable.

    Jordin got good pop songs that fit her voice/style and hit in the real pop market. That’s what saved her.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Agreed. You can tell she is still sadden by the lost of both parents. She kinda looks defeated. I’m certain it’s due to the tragic events in her life. I feel really bad for her.

  • ptebwwong

    Kree wasn’t given much screen time. But IMO it’s not a factor as much as you think. Kris Allen’s audition was barely shown (only a few seconds) & didn’t get much screen time in Hollywood especially compared to others such as Anoop, Matt Giraud, etc. But he won the show & at least had a hit single (Live Like We’re Dying).

  • Wfish88

    NOOOOO :( I loved Kree… I also put most if blame on the cluster F**K that was season 12. I hope some label picks her up, but in the crowded reality country music contestants out there, idk…

  • usedtobelucy

    “I’ve always found her music pretty generic”

    I’m sort of inclined to agree with you on the question of looks. But I also kind of think that there are some big genres where a pretty substantial segment of the fanbase probably prefer buying kind of “generic” music rather than anything else, and maybe especially from females. Generic can be quite appealing after a fashion, but it doesn’t scare anybody. That’s what a lot of folks *want* from music, seems to me.

    Both pop and country come to mind in that regard. So “generic” can more often be a point in your favor than the reverse, I imagine.

  • PinkClouds20

    But, she was still a teen and teens relate to teens.

  • craigin

    I think what we’re going to see with S12 is similar to S9. Years down the road, the good artists from the crop will rise after some hard word and release music that will be popular and will not be associated with AI at all- think Casey James (although his 2nd singles looks like it may bomb) I feel Kree, Janelle and maybe even Amber may follow this path. If Angie knows what’s good for her, she will follow Colton Dixon directly to CCM- or she can try her hand at pop and go completely unnoticed like Jessica :( The only one who stands a real chance at initial success out the gate from Idol from S12 is Candice- and that’s only if they can give her a good single… or two…

  • Tinawina

    Tell that to Allison Iraheta! LOL. Teens don’t automatically sell just because they are teens. For girls things lean towards the pretty princesses, for guys things lead towards cute and sexually non threatening. That is what usually gets labeled marketable when t comes to teens… Jordin wasn’t it.

  • usedtobelucy

    “It may not fly as much these days”

    I think you make an excellent point about country tradition and “just standing there.” Whether it flies these days is the $64,000 question, though, is it not?

    I mean, magazines, books and newspapers used to be pretty popular, too. And network television.

    But people whose brains have been shaped by different stuff don’t find any of these all that attractive any more. So I guess only time will tell whether the “just singing” brand of country music will continue to attract new generations. I hope it does, but I can’t say I feel very hopeful about that.

    We all seem to be developing attention spans like those of gnats. I notice it in myself, and I’m positively elderly.

  • PinkClouds20

    Allison didn’t win. I believe she came in third or fourth? Jordin won, big difference.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Carrie-type winner would be just another country singing competition winner. Carrie was considered something special when she won in 2005. Since then, Idol produced another country winner, Scotty and another blonde female country singer – Lauren. X Factor had a country winner. The Voice has Cassadee and Danielle. Actually, Danielle could be considered Carrie 2013. Young, blonde, female, country singer, winner of a singing competition.

  • vamp111

    I think lack of screen time even hurt Kris. He had the lowest debut album sales ever for a winner at the time and I think LLWD was a hit more for the song than for Kris. Not to take anything away from Kris, because he is very talented, I just feel it was a hit because of radio getting behind a good song.

  • Tinawina

    Wat does winning have to do with real world marketability? We know the two don’t correlate.

  • PinkClouds20

    Winning has everything to do with it. How many third or fourth place winners have made it on Idol?

  • lollamape

    LOL.. Cassadee is not blonde but she sold many country covers xD…

  • vamp111

    Lauren Alaina and Jessica Sanchez were young and marketable and went far.

  • resunikcufecin

    Where do people get the crazy idea that Kelly and Carrie were chubsters on the show? They were both thin and attractive. Fantasia was also quite thin and presentable. Comparing those girls to Candice/Kree in the “marketability” department is just laughable.

  • vamp111

    Kelly also sang a bunch of old diva songs when she was on the show.

  • Mateja Praznik

    They were marketable? Because people in this thread don’t think they were marketable.

  • PinkClouds20

    I’m not familiar with Cassadee’s music.

  • irockhard

    Sorry about 2002 was a completely different world was to 2013.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I don’t think Kelly/Fantrasia/Carrie would be considered marketable if they were contestants on Idol this year.

  • Sassycatz

    Janelle really worked that stage. She came alive there and looked like she was having a blast. She also has a lively personality off stage. In contrast, Kree would tend to stand in one place while performing and often seemed very subdued. Which type of person do you think would capture the attention of an audience?

  • Tinawina

    What? That has nothing to do with what we were talking about. You said Jordin was considered marketable when she won. I said she was not, much like Taylor Hicks was not considered all that marketable when he won. Jordin was an improvement but very few thought she was some kind of slam dunk pop star. That title went to Blake, who of course went on to bomb. Jordin proved her marketability later, but at the time it was not a given.

  • vamp111

    Lauren is 100% marketable in the country world.

  • LuckyDucjk

    Carrie was the first country winner. Her song “Jesus Take the Wheel’ was crossed over to both Christian and pop markets. So it made everyone followed her. So, timing, type of song, and plain luck. Psy anyone?

  • ptebwwong

    Kris’s lack of screen time might have hurt him at the beginning of the competition. But he had a solid fanbase which kept him in the competition & gained fans due to his performances. Even now, he still has a dedicated fanbase. IMO I don’t think Kree gained that many fans from the start of the top 10 to the finale.

    I’m unsure if Kree has a good fanbase. IMO she seems like a contestant that is considered talented during her season, but doesn’t have a dedicated fanbase & people will forget about her once the next season comes (Ex. Skyler).

    I think Kree is talented, but I just don’t see her as marketable in the current country market especially with the multiple country talent show alums trying to make it (Ex. Cassadee, Danielle, etc.).

  • LuckyDucjk

    Carrie and Kelly had slender figures on Idol. Candice has lost 20 pounds she mentioned? Kree is a bit full figured.

  • Montavilla

    The Western world is dominated by white guys with guitars.

  • craigin

    I think a group of the country singers from AI should join forces and create the next Dixie Chicks or a rival to Lady A! I can totally see Kree, Lauren, & Janelle joining forces- maybe even adding in Skylar (if she can shake the racist drama), Diana Degarmo, or even (God forbid) Kristy Lee Cook for some sassy 4 part harmony. Pair them with some good songwriting and catchy hooks and they could actually have a sustainable career of hits. I think combined they are stronger than apart. I’d say add Kellie P but I really like her newer solo stuff- maybe the rest of them forming a group will make more room for her at radio…

    As far as a rival Lady A or LBT, I like Kree joining with Danny Gokey and Josh Gracin for a kinda soulful country trio. They could knock out a great ballad! Or if you want more contemporary pop country, join up Casey James, Janelle, and Lauren and if Scotty’s career goes sour after the sophomore effort, he could fit right in too. That would be a fun group to see live for sure!

  • SteelWauhterz

    I must respectfully disagree with you. Marketability is as abstract as a Rochat Test. The key to success in this business beside incredible luck and opportunity are three items: Believability, Musical Ability and Songwriting. Quite frankly, this is why I believe finding the right writers and producers for Candice is so important.She has everything else covered.

  • Incipit

    IDK about the Country audience – but I wanted to like her music in spite of the country factor, because she didn’t focus on the country, like Janelle did – she was more bluesy, and what you said is true, lollamape . ” a great singer…her tone is so gorgeous, she’s a total sweetheart and has a really good and caring personality. “ – but there was always a disconnect; she couldn’t seem to project that through the delivery, and it never got better.

    I finally gave up after “Help Me Make it Through the Night”. I realized if I couldn’t connect with Kree on that song, with those lyrics, It’s Not Gonna Happen. The fact that she took it SO Country, when I don’t much like country, well – her choice, and I could have gotten past that. She didn’t always lean so heavily on the twang, I often forgot that she was touted as a Country singer.

    But it was all SO ‘smooth’, so technical – – and that’s not a ‘smooth’ song, IMO. So when she came to “Let the Devil take tomorrow, For tonight, I need a friend.” and just threw those lines away – not a touch of anguish, no read on the emotional content, no nothing…that was finally it. Sorry, Kree…of the five finalists, she was at least a slim possibility for my money. And after that and “Stormy Weather” I had to write her off.

    I wish Kree good fortune and not getting tangled up with Interscope may be just that, if she can find other opportunities from being on the Idol platform…but I’m not a prospective customer of any of the five women of Season 12.

  • elliegrll

    I think that’s really the problem. What the audience will vote for and what will sell are 2 different animals.

    This is something that a lot of idols have to deal with. Even if the alum is marketable, the belief of those in the industry and younger consumers that AI alums/winners only appeal to a certain demo is a huge roadblock.

  • PinkClouds20

    Fact of the matter is, 3rd or 4th place finishers on Idol are not very successful. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know. In fact, I only remember Elliott Yamin having a hit song and I don’t remember anybody else having any success.

    Taylor Hicks was not marketable because he was old looking, but Jordin was a teen and very marketable. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • irockhard

    Um Chris Daughtry anyone?

  • PinkClouds20

    He was considered the winner that year.

  • Tinawina

    Exactly. They would get picked apart like everyone else. No one has been good enough in years, at least not on the boards.

  • elliegrll

    Kree didn’t get the screen time, because she doesn’t have an outgoing personality. When given the screen time it was clear that Kree was a front runner based on her talent, but it was also still obvious that her lack of personality and stage presence were going to hurt her once the show was over.

  • Amy Beth

    The Pistol Annies (Miranda Lambert’s side project) are a pretty sassy country girl group.

  • Larc

    There’s no guarantee that somebody from each Idol season will see great success. Although I hope it’s not the case, S12 could be one where nobody does. Especially over the long haul, the really important measure that is already proving to be a stumbling block to some Idols from earlier seasons who initially did quite well.

  • EvilTroyandEvilAbed

    That’s different though. Carrie had the benefit of being on Idol when it was at it’s peak in popularity/mainstream attention, AND she had the benefit of being the first fully country Idol winner (yes Kelly would later dabble in country but that was later, and previous country contestants didn’t win their respective seasons)

    With those conditions, Carrie had the opportunity to establish herself. The landscape has changed now. Idols need to come in fully developed because they have one shot and nothing else.

  • Mateja Praznik

    “Teen” doesn’t equal “marketable”. Especially because teens coming from Idol are of extra wholesome, humble, un-hip variety. When teenage girls go crazy for Justin Bieber, Idol churns out a David Archuleta. Girls and grandmas initially went crazy for Archie too, but soon it was clear that Archie just didn’t have the appeal and drive to sustain his momentum.

  • craigin

    They are! And they sell well- maybe not the darlings of radio but their duet with Blake Shelton just went #1 so maybe they’re on their way up. This is part of why I think the AI alums should join forces. Their efforts together could be stronger than their individual careers.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Yeah and season 1 had only 2 audition episodes in total.

  • EvilTroyandEvilAbed

    Yeah I agree. It’s completely ridiculous but the south remains stuck in their ways. Until the mentality changes in the southern country loving public, radio PDS are going to continue to favor male acts over female acts.

  • ptebwwong

    Kimberly Locke (3rd place finisher S2) did pretty well. She was actually the 1st Idol contestant to have a #1 (8th World Wonder) that wasn’t a coronation single to top a Billboard chart (BB Singles Sales). She has gone on to have multiple top 10 hits on the US AC & US Dance charts.

    She doesn’t get much buzz or media interest. But IMO she’s had a good career post-Idol. IMO some of the Idol contestants would love to have even some of the success she’s had.

  • SteelWauhterz

    Yes and no, and for some people, it does not seem to matter. Carrie Underwood bored me on Idol, and still does to this day. Sheryl Crow on the other hand was doing back up vocals, and like Judith, her big break was working for Michael Jackson. The difference is, Sheryl “wanted” to be a star, wanted to be upfront (by at least “20 Feet”). and she made it happen.

  • thirdtime

    You really can’t dismiss Chris Daughtry’s success by saying he was considered the winner that year. He still came in 4th place. If he was considered the winner that year, why didn’t he get enough votes to win? Makes no sense. If you blame the voting system, then you must not believe any of the winners of any year were the real winners either.

  • EvilTroyandEvilAbed

    That’s the path that Kree’s good friend Kacey followed, and Kacey seems to be making a name for herself right now. It’s tough to face, but Kacey’s path is probably the one that Kree herself will have to follow

  • PinkClouds20

    Of course not. You still have to have good tunes to succeed. Jordin had good tunes that were radio friendly.

  • PinkClouds20

    He was treated like the winner, so that’s all I have to say about that.

  • EvilTroyandEvilAbed

    I still stand by that assessment though. Kree HAS built up favor amongst many of Nashville’s elite songwriters and artists, but these people aren’t record execs, they can’t get her signed.

    Only a record executive can sign new artists and unfortunately their job is to look at things from a business perspective and Kree isn’t a good investment. That doesn’t take away from the favor she’s curried in Nashville though – she worked hard and payed her dues and she earned every bit of respect.

  • Tinawina

    Every year only one person sells well with few exceptions, and that person isn’t always the winner. And even then, that person doesn’t always have a successful long term career, because a lot of them only sell based on the AI audience’s reception of initial album. The contest placement has nothing to do with who sells well long term in real world markets. The people who have/have actual multiple album recording careers… Kelly, Fanny, Daughtry, Mandisa, Pickler, Carrie, (and arguably JHud and Bucky, Josh Gracin and Jordin) finished all over the map in terms of the actual contest. And when you add in people like Clay, Lambert, Constantine, McPhee, etc who have managed to hold on to some level of stardom, the contest placements seems even more irrelevant when it comes to long term industry marketability. IMO

  • EvilTroyandEvilAbed

    Those contacts can’t sign her though so you’re argument remains wrong and unfounded. Only a record exec can sign someone, and right now Kree isn’t a good investment to someone from a major record label.

    But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Kree has built up a rapport with many of Nashville’s elite and those people can help her write songs that could eventually get her a record label.

  • 50Watts

    This makes me sad too. Hopefully Kree will find success elsewhere with a label that can promote her. Interscope/Jimmy Iovine record with female idol contestants stinks so it’s best she doesn’t become another one of Jimmy’s failures.

    On a side note both Candice and Kree seems years older than they are. Both 23 yet they look 30+. Great singers but old souls. Good for reality tv, not for mainstream radio.

  • ptebwwong

    I agree that the landscape has changed especially with the multitude of talent shows & their alums. I realize Carrie was a long time ago. I was just making the point that IMO stage presence specifically from an Idol alum can be learned.

    Also, I don’t necessarily think you have to be fully developed when you’re on the show. I agree they will only get one shot. But IMO there are some contestants in recent years that weren’t fully developed, but improved during their season & went on to be successful. I would say Scotty did this. But I realize younger contestants like Scotty have room to improve & if done on a big stage like Idol have a better chance of gaining fans & becoming a success post-show depending on certain factors (music, radio, fanbase, etc.)

  • Lollygaggin

    I don’t know why anyone would bother auditioning for idol anymore knowing that they would be tied to the incompetence that is 19 entertainment. Kree should hope that 19 lets her go when the tour ends. With her connections in Nashville I’m sure she could find effective management and land a publishing deal. Idol allowed her to increase her name a bit and I hope she takes full advantage.

  • taylor

    “Actually, Danielle could be considered Carrie 2013. Young, blonde, female, country singer, winner of a singing competition.”

    Almost, but not as strikingly beautiful as Carrie. She is more Taylor Swift than Carrie, in the looks department, but the young, wholesome thing might work for her.
    A Danielle type MIGHT have a shot coming from Idol. She is an example of someone who could be marketable to both the Idol demo and the current country market.

  • dd999

    Thanks for the write-up Windmills. Out of many of these female singers like Kelly Clarkson, Cassadee Pope and Taylor Swift, if they weren’t calling themselves country, it would open the doors for others like Kree, who has a unique beautiful tone, made for country ballads. Surely someone will recognize how special her tone is over others and sign her. Also, I think, young Danielle Bradbery is a bright shining little star in the making, and I think she has a superior singing voice over many who have songs on the country chart right now. Her single will be out mid-July!

  • Montavilla

    But IMO there are some contestants in recent years that weren’t fully developed, but improved during their season & went on to be successful.

    The example that’s coming into my mind today (although she wasn’t a runner-up) is Brooke White. She wasn’t signed immediately to a label, but kept on quietly working. Now she’s got music out, and just starred in a TV movie.

    There’s also Casey James, who was signed immediately, but didn’t put any music for two years. Both of them are working, successful, and a credit to the Idol machine.

    There is no one goal nor one path after Idol.

  • irockhard

    The problem is things like “a special tone” are not taken into consideration when signing a new artist. So if that’s all Kree has to offer then no one is ever gonna sign her.

  • mmb

    Cook, Archie, Kris Allen, Lambert all have actual multiple album recording careers as well ( I would think 2 major label albums counts as mulitple), and Lambert is working on a third major label album (same as Jordin and j hud, all with same label), and Clay has multiple albums, Kat too..but yes, when you look over the landscape of who has had some sort of lasting entertainment career/level of celebrity the ultimate Idol season placements are all over the map and in no way limited to the top finisher

  • girlygirl

    Lauren Alaina often looks older than Kree. Doesn’t seem to have impacted her radio play all that much

  • girlygirl

    Not sure how a lack of early screen time could have hurt her since she finished 2nd — much higher than several other contestants who got more screen time early in the season.

    I think we are going to have to write S12 off as one as where no contestant really connected with the audience. Candice’s sales have been poor, and although we don’t know the sales totals for Angie, the fact that Interscope has seemingly passed on her suggests that her #s were not all that, either.

  • vamp111

    Especially because teens coming from Idol are of extra wholesome, humble, un-hip variety.

    There have been teens in the “real world” who were like that also. Justin Bieber started out as being “wholesome.” Also, look at how Taylor Swift was as a teen and the Jonas Brothers. They were all wholesome and the Jonas Brothers even had the purity rings. Miley started out as innocent also.

  • Liteasy

    Both of these girls have nice tones, but neither one has the ability to draw in the audience with their performances. They both need guidance on how to show emotion in their singing, and Danielle especially needs to learn what her songs are about.

  • taylor

    Taylor Swift had country songs and albums before this last one. Kelly isn’t calling herself a country artist. She is doing some crossover songs. If country artists can crossover to HAC and Pop and take spots away, why can’t other artists crossover to country?
    If these three disappeared from the country charts completely, the women would still be struggling to get more than two or three females in the top 40.

    Country music is a boys’ club, and that’s not the fault of any of the few girls who are managing somehow to get on the charts from time to time.

  • dd999

    Interesting, why wouldn’t it be? I think her song ‘You
    Would Have Wanted It That Way’ should have been her single released from Idol as its more her style. The one she released ‘All Cried Out’ is too pop.sounding. I also loved Kree singing ‘Help Me Make It through the night’.

  • girlygirl

    I disagree about Kelly and Carrie. Carrie would basically be a older version of Danielle, and everyone is screaming about how marketable Danielle is. Kelly, meanwhile, would still be a great pop singer, and Idol has been dying for someone to push to the pop market for years.

    Fantasia would be what she was back in S3 — a niche artist who would be quite successful in that niche but without crossover appeal.

  • girlygirl

    Jessica has not proven to be marketable. At least not yet.

  • irockhard

    Danny O’Donoghue of The Script, who’s a coach on The Voice UK, recently said in an interview that recording artists only sing for 5% of their careers. So you see, the voice isn’t one of the most important factors, it’s one of the least important and record execs know this.

  • elliegrll

    Album 3 dropping by more than 90% doesn’t scream solid fan base. During the season I said that Kree reminded me a lot of Kris, and that she was making some mistakes that would put her in a similar position that he’s in.

  • James

    Very well said on every level.

  • Sandy

    And this is exactly why we should just sit back and wait to see if Danielle is actually going to be one of the biggest female country singers (as many have proclaimed already)…. or not.

  • James

    IMO there are zero potential stars off of this season.

    If I had to pick one it would be Angie by a mile and I don’t know if she will ever turn into a “star”.

  • dd999

    I feel with Kree she needs a bit of assistance in knowing how to be on stage, and sometimes with a big audience her talking to them like its a small venue and asking them to give a big hand for someone else, should be better left to the emcee? As far as Danielle’s stage presence, she’s awesome on stage, and all I have to say about her is ‘keep on smiling’ Danielle for most all of your songs, because that’s what’s so refreshing about your performances.

  • ptebwwong

    My comment about Kris having a solid fanbase was during Idol. My point is he still has a good size fanbase even now about 5 years off of Idol. Many of the Idols even that were successful for 1 album such as Kris, Cook, Archie, etc. still have a dedicated fanbase many years after the show & their 1st album. Yes, there fanbase is less than before, but they haven’t totally been forgotten Idols like many others.

    The reason I brought up Skylar when I was commenting on Kree was Skylar did well during her season & was a country artist. She didn’t release anything & has been songwriting, but she’s basically been forgotten about in the country world & she was on a very recent season. The problem I see is that as talented as Kree is I could see her doing the same as Skylar. It will be a hard road if she doesn’t get signed.

  • elliegrll

    Labels want to know that the alums can find an audience. For some reason, a lot of AI contestants forget that they need to try to make a connection with people who will buy their music. Or at least show that they are capable of getting and holding people’s attention.

  • justmefornow

    That’s the difference between “singers” and “performers”. In today’s lower music selling climate, successful recording artists need to be both, IMO.

  • irockhard

    The issue is most of the time the people who will buy their music are not watching the show.

  • resunikcufecin

    None of Lauren’s singles have done much on the radio. Her last single looks like a complete flop.

  • vdawg

    I was just thinking about this, it would be a great idea. Why not. Kree and Janelle would make a great duo, maybe add one guy from somewhere to make a trio.

  • Tinawina

    I was actually trying to think of people who had 2 successful albums, not just 2 albums…. like who made it to a third album with their original record deal, or made some noise (as in hits) on the second album… That to me means you’ve found a consistent audience. But it’s not a science, I admit, which is why some people could end up in the “arguable” category. But either way we are saying the same thing. Whether someone finds a sustainable, profitable niche in music or entertainment has little to do with where they finished. Winning does not automatically equal marketable.

  • elliegrll

    Lauren airplay was not great, but I doubt that it had anything to do with how she looks.

  • elliegrll

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.

  • James

    She will end up landing somewhere, it might have to be at a smaller label like Kellie went to but Kree will get a deal.

  • Tinawina

    Well aside from calling R&B a “niche”market (LOL), I agree in general that Carrie would probably be considered marketable today. Kelly I’m not so sure. She doesn’t dance, she’s wasn’t particularly edgy on the show… I doubt anyone would have called her a marketable pop singer in 2013.

  • chillj

    I think Kree has a very unique look and is interesting precisely because no one I know of in Nashville has a similar one. Her voice is good enough that if she put out an album tomorrow, I would likely buy it (unless it was too pop). I don’t even really think of her as country; she has a bit of a country feel, but I think she would do better as a more independent artist. I think Kree is one performer from AI for whom there really is a market. Maybe not a vast one that will put her at the top of the charts, but a market nevertheless.

  • ptebwwong

    Actually, Lauren’s track record on radio (1 top 30, 3 top 40) is better than a lot of female country singers. As windmills stated, it’s tough right now for female country singers. She at least has 4 singles that are top 40. There aren’t many relatively new females (in the last 5 years) that even have that.

  • irockhard

    Fantasia is Urban AC, that’s decidedly more niche (less crossover to CHR) than Urban or Rhythmic.

    I’m not an expert on country so I have no idea if Carrie would’ve been considered marketable today.

    Kelly would not be marketable today.

  • PinkClouds20

    Idol audiences don’t necessarily look for edgy, they look for wholesome, girl-next-door type and Kelly has wholesome appeal. I think she would have still won in 2013.

  • taylor

    Probably not against a wholesome Scotty, P2 or other WGWG type.

  • chillj

    I thought during the season and a little after that she seemed more than reserved, more like clinically depressed. I don’t remember how long ago her parents died, but it seems she should be bouncing back now. I think there may be more going on with her than just “reserve.” She may just need time, but she also may need a little help.

  • Tinawina

    Maybe. But the question was not could she win Idol, the question was would she be considered marketable in today’s pop market.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Just curious…such as? Not names, I don’t want to start fan wars. But other than finding some fantastic songs in some cases, what has she done differently? Thanks.

  • windmills

    usedtobelucy: I think you make an excellent point about country tradition and “just standing there.” Whether it flies these days is the $64,000 question, though, is it not?

    That’s a good question. I guess I’d answer by saying that despite their party rocking drinking songs, neither Jason Aldean nor Blake Shelton works the stage that hard, especially not Blake Shelton.

    I also think that anybody who’s not looking to be an arena-headlining country act would do just fine “just standing there.” There’s also definitely a good sized portion of the Carrie fandom that’s really hoping she’s serious about someday doing an acoustic tour where she just stands there, chats, and sings. So I think the audience for that style of performing remains.

  • PinkClouds20

    And then answer is yes.

  • PinkClouds20

    I think Kelly would have definitely beat Scotty and probably P2 as well.

  • ptebwwong

    Out of the top 2 of each Idol season, very few make it to 3 albums with their original label especially in recent years. Kelly, Ruben, Clay, Fantasia, Archie, & Carrie all released 3 albums with their original label. Technically, Clay released a Christmas album & an album of mostly covers (I’m not sure if you count that). Archie released a Christmas album.

    A couple of Idols will release a 3rd album with their original label. Adam is still with his original label & will be making a 3rd album with them. Jordin’s still signed with her original label, too. She’s supposed to be releasing her 3rd album this fall. But those are the only Idols from the top 2 of any Idol season who actually made it to 3 albums from their original label.

  • Tinawina

    Okay, that’s your opinion. But I don’t see how Season 1 Kelly is even remotely comparable with the edgy, sexed up electro dance pop thing dominating women on CHR right now. She wasn’t even pop rock until her second album. I don’t think anyone would have looked at the likeable girl next door with the killer voice who specialized in old soul songs and thought “There’s your next Rihanna!” or “OMG it’s Pink part 2!”. Of course now we know she could do pop rock fine, but would many people have predicted that when she came off idol? I don’t think so.

  • Tinawina

    Okay, but we were talking about *all* the people who got record deals post idol, and which of those people have been able to stay signed by finding an audience/having hits over multiple albums. In other words, we are talking about people who have turned into legit recording artists. The whole point was that it doesn’t seem to be related to where folks finished, so it makes no sense to limit this discussion to the top 2 IMO.

  • SteelWauhterz

    If I was a betting man, I’d take you up on that. Tenacity is the great equalizer in this biz. Talent aside, Candice has many things going for her, and her tenacity is one of them, the Idol platform, though diminished is a second, the third is word of mouth among the artists. The girl is getting mad props, and a whole lot of people are stepping up to the plate on her project. Her weakest link right now seems to be three blind mice over seeing her management, What a circle jerk…..Just saying..

  • SteelWauhterz

    Just noticed, there were two “James”….my reply is below “b_James”.

  • PinkClouds20

    I predicted it when she came off of Idol. She was the whole package, voice, stage presence, likability. Did I mention I met Kelly after she won? She is exactly what you see on stage, very down to earth and super nice. Maybe the battle is really the likability factor. You could have the best voice in the world, but if nobody likes you for whatever reason, you don’t stand a chance in the world.

  • ptebwwong

    I guess it depends by what you mean as legit recording artists.

    Some artists have multiple top 40 singles in their genre (Ex. Lauren Alaina). Some Idols have made 3+ albums like Kellie Pickler, but are currently struggling on radio. Would you consider someone like Blake Lewis a legit recording artist? He didn’t do well on his debut album, got dropped, signed with another label, made a 2nd album & managed to get a #1 dance hit, & is making his 3rd album.

  • PinkClouds20

    I liked Angie a lot, but the posing for the cameras and the beauty pageant smiles were a bit of a turnoff.

  • vamp111

    I don’t know why anyone would bother auditioning for idol anymore

    Because Idol is the only show in the US that actually produces successful contestants? Where are Melanie Amaro, Jermaine Paul, Javier Colon, and Tate Stevens today when compared to Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Carrie Underwood, etc?

  • taylor

    In season one? Yes. Now? Very doubtful.

  • Wfish88

    I’m not sure, I think it’s alot harder to get a deal now for IDOLS than it was years ago. I wish she does get a record deal, but theirs IDOLS that I thought for sure wouldve gotten some record deal by now they havnt…. Joshua Ledet, Skyler Laine come in mind… Kree has a upper hand on Janelle & some other IDOLS because she does have some major connections in Nashville tho.

  • ptebwwong

    I agree that Idol is the only show that currently produces successful contestants. XF hasn’t done that.

    But if Cassadee or Danielle does well which looks like could happen, The Voice can soon promote that. If that happens, Idol could take a bigger hit. The Voice is already getting the buzz from the media & the public. Many people think Idol is old & not good anymore. There are too many changes this next Idol season. If The Voice manages to get a successful alum soon, IMO it could spell doom for Idol & this is coming from a big Idol fan.

  • Tinawina

    Well that’s why I said it’s not a science. Different people will say different things! Blake would count though, for me.

    All I am really getting at (or trying to, badly LOL) is that who manages to sustain a music recording career after the idol audience has moved on has little to do with where they finished in the contest. And when you pull back to include just a general entertainment career, the relationship is even more shaky. Marketability is a separate issue from contest placement.

  • mmb

    100% agree (I get ya!)

  • vamp111

    Its still way too soon to say if Danielle and Cassadee will do well. Cassadee had a nice first sales and add week, but her singles spins increase have slowed down and sales have gone way down. She had a lot of front loading the first week. Its already hard for females to break into country, so I don’t think they will be any different.

    The Voice’s buzz isn’t that big, they actually had similar ratings to idol this season in the end.

    And after a poorly received season 12, isn’t it a good thing that idol is making serious changes?

  • ptebwwong

    Yes, their ratings were similar. I’m talking about how the general public & even some Idol fans this year seems to have watched The Voice & seem to like it. I’ve seen & heard many comments how Idol wasn’t enjoyable this year & they watched Voice & loved it. Obviously, it all could change next season if Idol makes the right changes & manages to turn it around for the better & the future of the franchise.

    I know Cassadee had good 1st week sales, but has slowed down. IMO I would look out for Danielle not Cassadee. I think she will have an easier time than Cassadee since she’s country & has always portrayed herself as such. Her label knows how to promote & has a lot of currently successful artists. Since Taylor is starting to become more pop, I wouldn’t be shocked if they start concentrating more on Danielle as the “next big female artist.” She’s young, marketable, can improve & be molded into a star, etc.

  • tigervixxxen

    I wonder if Candice’s new is about her album as well. Or does she think we don’t know it got pushed back? Anyway, it’s just not worth it for these labels to release albums anymore. I’m not saying Kree will never have one but she’s probably looking at a reality where all of our favorite Idols with no 19 recording label deals are.

  • Bugme Nomor

    The Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100 charts are fairly diverse. Kayne West and J. Cole currently top the former while Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. + Pharrell and Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams sit atop the latter.

  • L. R. M. L.

    Agree that girls are struggling in country music. But you can’t call it a ” Boys Club”. It is a “Select few” club. If you happen to be in it, you’re lucky. If not, well……….

  • Jake W.

    I agree. You can chart all you want during these shows, but it means nothing in the long term.

  • CanadianLady

    Sorry to hear this, but I’m hoping Keith and some of her friends will get her a spot on a label somewhere. And she needs a good manager. I do agree that she doesn’t have the kind of personality that gets noticed, and she needs to show more of who she is as a singer through her songs. Maybe she can figure that out as she works on songs for an album.

  • L. R. M. L.

    Sorry but Scotty would never fit in there. He is born to sing by himself and never in a group. And, as an aside he will make it with the sophomore effort. I really believe it.

    Hope Kree and Janelle can make it on their own and never have to compromise by having to join a group which they may not have as a goal for their future.

  • girlygirl

    That’s a lot of “Ifs”, though :)

  • bridgette12

    Does charting mean anything when you don’t sell many downloads?

  • Mahalo2

    Well at least Kree is currently in the studio, writing music with several hit songwriters. She just tweeted this:
    Kree Harrison ?@kreeharrison 17m
    So excited to get back in the studio tonight with @busbee and @LucieSilvas. #DreamTeam!!!

    I’ve been informed by someone from Kree’s Krew that busbee has written for Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Pink, Hunter Hayes, and more.

  • girlygirl

    He’s another guy who has written with a bunch of Idols, I think. I know he’s written with Kris.

  • Mahalo2

    Kree also tweeted on June 28th, that she’s writing with Catt Gavitt and Chris Stefano (songwriter, record producer).

  • elliegrll

    I don’t think that downloads are that important on the country format. I believe that Carrie is a bit of an anomaly in that area. I think that we are about to find out if Lauren’s lack of airplay hurt her.

  • Larc

    And if either is dispensable, it’s the singer part as long as the performer part is good enough. I can still remember when the reverse was true.

  • thedeviledadvocate

    I like Kree, but to be honest, unless she released a fantastic song, I most likely will not buy her music. Although Kree sang technically better than Janelle, I would be much more likely to buy Janelle’s music. I would definately prefer to watch Janelle perform live, than Kree.

    It does not matter what Danielle releases, I’m buying it. I love her voice, it is literally music to my ears. Now, I am a realist, and I know that Danielle does not have the performing skills, yet, that many others have, but I would still love to watch her live. I think she is a natural, and I think in a very short window of time (6 months to 1 year), Danielle will be just as engaging on the stage as her voice is on my ipod. She has a million dollar smile, and that will get her by for awhile, live. The stage presence will improve with every performance. Her duet with Hunter Hayes proves that she can light up the stage. It won’t be long and she will be able to do that all by herself.

    It is too early to say she will be successful, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say she will be the most successful winner from the Voice. If Big Machine gives her good material, I think the sky is the limit for her.

  • girlygirl

    Chris DeStefano :)

    He’s another guy who has written with a bunch of Idols.

    But all of these writers have had hits for non-Idol artists as well :)

  • usedtobelucy

    Good to hear!

  • usedtobelucy

    I believe she thought she was, too, actually.

  • merkureye

    Well, this is where I have got to point out that Keith Urban totally discredited himself as a competent (honest?) judge. During AI, Urban made the ludicrous comment that Kree would be a member of the Grand Ole Opry someday. . . . what!!?? Did Keith Urban see something that the record labels didn’t?? That was a little over the top. Did Uncle Nigel tell him to say this to lock in the Country demo?? Not trying to be harsh against Kree. She had nothing to do with Keith’s comment. I just don’t want Urban back as a judge. I want a clean sweep. Good luck to Kree in the future and I hope she becomes an Opry member someday.

    As a reality check though, if the likes of Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Wynonna Judd, Miranda Lambert, and Tim McGraw have not been inducted. . . .well, you get the picture. .

    Carrie Underwood made it in the Opry in 4 years because of her fantastic first CD Some Hearts selling 7 million copies and both Some Hearts and Carnival Ride being chocked full of unbelievable hits. In 4 years Carrie had won Grammys and CMA Female Vocalist of the Year twice. Also the values and commitment to Country music Carrie had consistently espoused helped. Being a friend of Vince Gill didn’t hurt either.

    I think the Opry itself will decide who gets in and who doesn’t Keith.

  • usedtobelucy

    It can definitely be improved.

    It sort of depends on what the source of your non-presence is. But some people sort of damp themselves down when they really have it in them to let things fly, and with proper help they can learn to project what’s inside, which is what stage presence is, really. I’ve seen it happen. There’s no way that it’s out of the question.

  • stef

    I agree that was way OTT for Keith to have said that for someone who had no professional track record and was barely into the top 5 or so on Idol, if that?
    Perhaps he really meant that Kree could “perform” at the Opry vs. be an actual member, but that was not what he said lol.

  • merkureye

    Kree may already have a record deal with another label. She just can’t sign until Candice’s CD is out.

  • girlygirl

    Yes she can. There’s no restriction on a runner-up signing a label deal before the winner releases an album.

  • sue

    This is sad but I hope someone picks Kree up. She is such an amazing singer and writer.

  • ptebwwong

    It depends on the artist in country. There are successful artists in country who have #1 hits that don’t even sell gold. For example, Brad Paisley has multiple #1’s in the last 5 years. Many of them haven’t reached gold. Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, etc. have the same problems with selling gold recently, but most of their hits have reached top 10 or #1.

    Many of the artists who don’t crossover or sing country pop don’t reach gold.

  • merkureye

    lol

  • merkureye

    lol

  • merkureye

    Oh, I thought they had to wait. There has been some speculation surrounding Angie that she has to wait until August 17 to sign if she gets a deal since she is under an AI contract. I just projected this to Kree. But as you say, she is a runner-up so everything is different apparently.

  • fernandoefens

    Let’s remember today as the day UMG Nashville turned down Kree Harrison.

    They’ll regret it. Mark my words.

  • Karen C

    I think there is a certain amount of time where the runner up and other finalists cannot sign with another label, if they are not signed they are free to go to another label. I know in the past it was in August, but maybe it is shorter now, if Kree already knows they are not going to sign her.

  • Lollygaggin

    busbee and Lucie Silvas wrote Haley Reinhart’s single Free. Lucie is from the UK but I believe has been trying to break into Nashville.

  • dd999

    I certainly agree about everything you said about Danielle. I prefer Kree’s voice to Janelle’s..I listened to the song Janelle sang at the Opry and I felt she had to work at the song, rather then the song flowing. JMO. As far as stage presence Janelle is outstanding in that area…and has a wonderful personality on and off stage.

  • maymay

    The singing shows are full of female contestants which maybe reflects the fact female singers have the stigma on country radio. So they have to audition for singing shows to attract country radio.

    Tate Stevens is too old and Scotty is too teen. Where are adult young white male country contestants? Of course, country radio love them so they don`t need to audition fot singing shows. If country contestants want to do great on country radio, they better are adult young white male country contestants. Unfortunately this kind of type seems like it doesn`t show up on singing shows so far.

  • windmills

    Both busbee and Chris DeStefano (I’d included Kree’s Catt Gravitt/Chris DeStefano tweet in the original post) were likely 19 hookups for Kree.

    I think Kree may have already known Lucie Silvas from Nashville, but I’m not 100% on that.

  • girlygirl

    The runner up has always gotten signed by a label pretty much at the same time as the winner.

    I think what you are thinking of is the management deal. The Idols cannot sign with another management company other than 19 until after the Idol tour ends — unless 19 agrees to release them before that.

  • mchcat

    I would have been more for her if she had really been country during the season. She did more pop or something. I lost interest in her very fast. Janelle stayed much more country

  • HKfan

    I agree, I love Kellys voice and music….but I’m always disappointed when I see videos of her performing, her visuals never seem to match up with her sound. If I was just going by looks, then I don’t think she ‘looks marketable, she doesn’t ‘look’ like a current pop star, she actually looks more like a country singer/girl next door….but with a rocking voice.

  • HKfan

    I agree, I love Kellys voice and music….but I’m always disappointed when I see videos of her performing, her visuals never seem to match up with her sound. If I was just going by looks, then I don’t think she ‘looks marketable, she doesn’t ‘look’ like a current pop star, she actually looks more like a country singer/girl next door….but with a rocking voice.

  • Erlie

    I believe Kree shiny lucky star will come someday and she will have a breakout song. Till then I will patiently wait.

  • Karen C

    I think it’s for a record deal too, though, because even though the other runner ups got signed, they had to wait to sign with another label.

  • Anny_nanny

    The Swon Brothers?

  • TalentScout2

    As a talent scout of music. You have to have the whole package. I would choose Janelle over Kree to sign. I just don’t feel it with Kree and her performances. It’s true there’s so many talented female country singers out there. Another female country artist is 19 year old Morgan Frazier. Who happens to be blonde and the girl next door looks.

  • Valarie

    Aren’t we in uncharted territory here? Kree is the first runner-up who wasn’t signed by the exclusive Idol label. We don’t know if there is a time period associated with UMGs deal.

  • stef

    I’m mildly surprised on this one by the substance. Kree has a very good voice and there are a lot of things I like about her, but she also came across as a little dull and mom-like at times which may not be a quality labels look for.
    If this is due to a dearth of spots to market new country females, I will try really really hard not to think it’s RaeLynn filling the spot that might have gone to Kree :O

    On the business side, I must have lost track. I remember reading a season or two ago — Jessica’s year? — they changed the contract so that the runner-up was no longer automatically going on to have a full album. But I thought it went more that they would at least get a few recorded singles/individual songs, not that the label could pass entirely on doing anything.

    I wonder if that is all money just lost, or there is some sort of compensation for the runner-up package in the event that the option isn’t exercised to go on to do an album contract.

    I’m surprised if the reports below that Angie may also have been skipped over, there seemed to be high expectations during the season that they had definite plans for her. Maybe their plans were Christian, and she refused to do it since she sees herself in a different model?

  • CanadianLady

    I think Keith genuinely likes her and thinks she is the type of performer the Opry likes. I think he meant what he said.

    And it wasn’t nearly as over the top as some of the comments from last year re Joshua being the best performer in the last 50 years or whatever was said.

    I hope Keith stays as a judge. Sure, he made a few flubs, but I was in awe of how he handled the whole thing in light of all that was going on. And he was a big part of why I kept watching this year. Love how he loves music – a lot like Phillip in that respect.

  • g122y

    I’m worried on Candice not on Kree. Candice will release an album this summer,and i predict it will be flop

  • halo9125

    Part of the problem is this- there just appears to be a total lack of connection between Kree and the audience. Watch her appearances at the Opry on YouTube- it’s almost as if she makes an effort NOT to look at the audience. I don’t know if this comes from the great loss she has suffered in her life, but she always appears depressed- in fact, there were times I actually thought she suffered from some form of autism because of the disconnect. In either case, it’s tragic because she IS very talented- but a record label isn’t going to sign because they feel sorry for her, they’ll sign because they think she can move albums- and I am not convinced that’s possible.

  • Disraeli99

    Kree’s career looks to over before it even got started. She and Candice both are starting behind a huge 8 ball – the decline of the Idol brand in pop and music culture, and entering into a dysfunctional music industry not inclined to allow much development or growth, something these two IMO could benefit from enormously. Candice at least has the “distinction” of winner Idol in a bad season. It still can and will get her in doors and get her opportunities to make a steady income from singing that Kree will be shut out. With UMG Nashville passing on Kree, that’s a pretty big sign that the opportunity for her to get the kind of push and promo to get her off to the decent and more than decent start other Idol runners up have gotten is the past is past. It’s unfortunate, but I cannot see an upside yet to her being passed over by UMG Nashville.

  • PinkClouds20

    I’m not really sure if Kree is believable as a country artist. From what I saw on Idol, Kree’s voice is more bluesy and soulful. Her voice reminds me more of Susan Tedeschi or Bonnie Raitt than Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert. I think Kree is in the wrong genre. I think she belongs in blues, blues/rock. Does anybody know if Kree plays guitar?

  • girlygirl

    That’s unlikely. Even the Idols who are considered “flops” in terms of sales continue to carve out careers in music and/or other parts of the entertainment industry. Kree will likely be able to find a niche for herself in the music industry, even if she does not end up selling a lot of albums or getting a lot of radio play.

  • Kariann Hart

    You know, I was thinking the same thing. I can definitely see Janelle performing with a band and getting some gigs. I would not count Kree as a failure for not getting that recording contract, but it may take longer for her to actually make it. She’ll be in music some way, some how. She needs a consultant to help her with her image. As far as Candice, I am waiting for Tony Bennett to duet with her.

  • Kariann Hart

    And it wasn’t nearly as over the top as some of the comments from last year re Joshua being the best performer in the last 50 years or whatever was said.
    This comment ranks #1 with me as the silliest comment ever made by an Idol judge. And it wasn’t made by Paula.

  • girlygirl

    TBH, I don’t see much difference between Janelle and Skylar from S11, and Skylar hasn’t gotten signed. Yeah, Janelle has a lot of stage presence, but aside from that, what is unique about her?

  • irockhard

    There is more to country than country pop. For instance there’s alternative country like Brandi Carlile and Ryan Adams but that stuff usually gets played on AAA not country radio. There’s also Americana like Alabama Shakes. I agree that Kree’s voice is better suited for those styles than country pop.

  • PinkClouds20

    Yes, I agree she would fit in alternative country or Americana, but I don’t think her voice is a fit for country pop or twangy country. She doesn’t have the voice or the look. She really needs to rethink everything. I also think people say they are country because it’s popular, but they’re really not country at all.

  • PinkClouds20

    Yes, I agree she would fit in alternative country or Americana, but I don’t think her voice is a fit for country pop or twangy country. She doesn’t have the voice or the look. She really needs to rethink everything. I also think people say they are country because it’s popular, but they’re really not country at all.

  • Black Rose Films

    I think Kree is a believable country artist, she just is not mainstream. I agree that her voice is more bluesy and soulful than what is playing on country radio. She reminds me of the love child of Adele, Norah Jones and Patsy Cline. I don’t think she is in the wrong genre, I think she will open people’s minds as to what is country music like how Adele changed pop music. To answer your question she does play the guitar.

  • Black Rose Films

    This is just the beginning of Kree’s career. They are tons of other labels that she could go to. I believe Sony Music Nashville and Warner Music Nashville are better fits for someone like Kree. The upside of her not signing with UMG is that she will have the opportunity to sign with a record label that will give her their undivided attention and support.

  • Mahalo2

    I worry more for Candice, b/c I still think they’re rushing her album. I hope she’s getting top songs from songwriters, so she can select the songs the best suit her.

  • Mahalo2

    I believe Kree is friends with Lucie Silvas. It’s good to hear that 19E may be behind Kree’s collaboration with some of these top-notch songwriters. I think in working w/them, Kree has a great opportunity to write great songs, like You Would Have Wanted It That Way.

  • dd999

    I think why many may think Kree is not country is because of the songs she was given to sing on Idol. It was so frustrating each week, not to hear her sing country songs, though she claimed to be country…just another beef I have with AI..she sang everything but country including a ‘Pink’. song. We really don’t need another Miranda or Carrie in country music, but Kree would bring her own unique sound to country music. I hope it happens!!!!

  • jake

    I agree. While Janelle was entertaining her voice is not strong enough nor unique enough.

  • jake

    I think this is a very bad sign for the rest of these idol finalists

  • resunikcufecin

    Country airwaves are full of strong and unique voices?

  • jake

    Janelle does entertain but at times is over the top. Her vocals are not anywhere near Kree’s. It is a shame but she is going to have a more difficult time than Kree I believe.

  • Nicole

    Ah, yes, Two Black Cadillacs is so generic. Said by no one ever.

    I agree with your sentiment about generic music being what the masses want, but Carrie Underwood is among the only mainstream country superstars who actually ISN’T making generic music.

  • Reflects On Life

    Kree’s voice has all the qualities of a great backup singer or duet partner – honey-buttered & mellifluous, with very little variance in tone or tamber as she moves up and down the scale. Her belt, chest, and head voices all sound the same to me. This might come across as “boring” to some. While Carrie might have not mastered stage skills on AI, her tonality is so varied – almost every note in her scale has a different tone to it – that she sounded like a singular unique artist. Just compare Carrie’s “Crying” to Kree’s “Crying” (Roy Orbison cover) to see what I mean.

    Kree to me sounds more like a singer-writer with country-folk leanings. To that end, I loved her Kris Kristofferson cover as well as her original YWHWITW.

    FWIW Kree’s in great company, as stars like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Sheryl Crow also started as backup singers. ;)

  • Miles (Grumpy) (VI)

    It seems a little premature to be burying any of these ladies careers. All five were extremely talented and we are not that far removed from the show.

    I said during the show that Kree needed a spark, that something was missing from her performances. Her voice is amazing but perhaps she was a back-up singer too long. Janelle is a better performer but not nearly the vocalist.

    I expect Candice to produce a couple of hits with that amazing voice and benefiting from her show winner status. Maybe “hits” is to strong a word.

    I suspect that Amber will fade away after tour…possibly for a good while.

    My “sleeper” pick is still Angie though it may be a slow start. I think she will find a way. She will always have the Christian market to work in I believe. I wish we knew how her single did even though it was effectively hidden from view.

  • Ponkiiee

    Jimmy passed on signing Angie . but in Angie’s father’s blog, he said that offers were placed right in front of her except for Interscope. and with the writers that she is working with right now, it is presumed that she will be signing with a Sony label, a rival label of Interscope

  • Ponkiiee

    angie’s father has confirmed that a label is willing to wait for Angie’s contract with Idol to expire. and it expires in august 17. and it’s not a christian label

  • girlygirl

    considering she continues to put out platinum singles and albums, why wouldn’t the answer to this be yes?

  • girlygirl

    I don’t count Christmas albums, so neither Clay nor Archie released 3 albums with their original label.

  • jake

    there needs to be something about newcomers to set them apart, no? Look at Kacey Musgraves for example. She is unique so she is getting a lot of notice right now. I dont see that with Janelle.

  • jake

    i agree. She already has a publishing deal, she has been in LA prior to the Idol tour rehearsals writing. I have a feeling she will be the most successful of these finalists but I am not betting the house.

  • Lib Donahue

    Hardly. The word “flop” hardly describes Lauren’s single. In fact, it just placed #1 on KRTY’s hot 9@9. It is climbing each week. Not sure what prompts you to say such an untruth, but I have an idea!

  • Lib Donahue

    I have no idea where you are getting your information, but it is entirely inaccurate. Lauren’s airplay is getting better each and every week.

  • Lib Donahue

    I don’t know why you’d say such a thing. Her song Barefoot and Buckwild (her latest single) has been out for about 4 weeks and it’s getting more and more spins on radio each week. In addition, she’s JUST finished a radio tour on the west coast and the stations all loved her single. On one California station the song is getting voted into the top three songs of the night almost every night. To say what you said tells me you’ve not been following her or her single too well.

  • resunikcufecin

    It was barely in the Top 1500 on iTunes the last time I checked.

  • craigin

    Oh I too think Scotty will make it just fine with his second solo set but Miranda Lambert has no need to be part of Pistol Annies yet she still participates in the group. Scotty would bring the star power (at least among AI alums) to the group and he and Lauren had such good chemistry on the show that I’d just like to see them sing together again :) I think Kree would benefit from a group and Janelle could make it on her own but I think she’d fit into a group just fine and would have great chemistry with Casey, Scotty and Lauren. Being in a group doesn’t necessarily have to be a compromise. You could keep doing your solo stuff. There’s just something special about being in a group and I think its a valid career choice for many of these AI alums. A pop group wouldn’t be a bad idea either (Pia, Jessica, Hollie, Amber, heck even Stefano, Chris from S6 or Blake could join together if they wanted- which of course they wouldn’t lol) It’s just something cool to think about :)

  • craigin

    Or maybe Skylar and they could do the Pistol Annie/ Dixie Chick thing (Skylar could be the Natalie Mains of their group lol- j/k)

  • craigin

    Whatever happened to Idol reporting all the single sales of all the AI performance tracks the week after the show ended? They did it for S 7 & 8 then never happened again. It was really cool to see who really was popular and in Cook’s case, he got a billboard record out of it for most songs by one artist to chart in a single week. I wish they’d bring that back. It was fun to see.

  • Linda Foltz

    Kree is an excellent songwriter. One of her friends, Kaycee, is up and coming in country music. I can see Kree writing some for Kaycee and making money on her songs first. And then, like Carole King, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, to name a few … after some of her songs have become hits by OTHER artists, she can put out a record that will soar to the top of the charts. IMO, that would be the way to craft her career.

  • Fred Eaglesmith

    I want Kree records, and I want them NOW !!!