American Idol’s HunterGirl Inks Deal with 19 Recordings/BMG

photo cr: Easton Schirra

19 Recordings/BMG today announces the signing of the country powerhouse singer-songwriter and American Idol season 20 runner-up, HunterGirl.

The news comes on the heels of the singer releasing her first new music since the show ended in May. “Hometown Out of Me” is available for pre-order and will be out Friday October 21.

The singer impressed the American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan so much during her Nashville audition, that she was awarded the special and coveted “Platinum Ticket” which allowed the singer to skip the first round during Hollywood Week.

Luke, in particular, called HunterGirl a “new age Miranda Lambert” and his “favorite female country voice.”

“Hometown Out of Me” was written by HunterGirl with Laura Veltz and producer Jimmy Robbins. The deeply personal song is a thank-you letter to her hometown of Winchester, Tennessee.

HunterGirl head out on tour with Noah Thompson

Currently playing dates out on the road, most recently with Justin Moore and Tracey Lawrence, HunterGirl will also kick-off her co-headlining tour with this year’s American Idol winner Noah Thompson on Thursday, October 27 in Columbus, Ohio.

Over the summer, HunterGirl was introduced to country music fans at the CMA Music Fest, where she sang duets with label-mates Jimmie Allen and season 19 winner Chayce Beckham.

A Tennessee native, singer/songwriter HunterGirl has been performing since she was three years old and writing songs since she was 9. In her early teens, she performed at venues across the United States, competed in singing competitions and won the 2014 Texaco Country Showdown.

After graduating high school, she moved to Nashville and immediately started playing gigs at Nashville’s most famous venues including Tootsie’s, Rippy’s, Jason Aldean’s Bar, The Listening Room, and Honky Tonk Central, winning songwriting contests such as “Nash Next” and the prestigious “Nashville Songwriter Association International” in her spare time.

Having family members in the military, HunterGirl is inspired to work with veteran organizations where she uses music therapy to transform veterans’ stories into songs.

Hunter performed her heartfelt original American Idol winner’s song, “Red Bird” on Live with Kelly & Ryan and has appeared on Good Morning America.


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About mj santilli 33689 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. Congrats to Hunter! She has been out there working hard and not waiting for everything to be handed to her. Big things may or may not happen. But they likely won’t if you fail to put in the hustle and take advantage of opportunities as they come. Crying about winning/not winning or who the judges favored, which fans of others dislike you, and what you are entitled to, is of little help to anyone. Good luck to her.

  2. Not surprising, although I kind of expected to see an announcement for both Hunter and Noah, hopefully his announcement is still pending. Congrats Huntergirl!

  3. I don’t think he is going to be signed outright by BMG at least right away. They aren’t obligated to sign the winner. Probably working on development more than anything else.

    Wishing the best for Hunter. I don’t foresee her being big like Gabby Barrett but she has certainly worked hard for where she is.

  4. Which I could honestly never see any real justification for. But she wasn’t the first one pimped by Idol that left me wondering why.

  5. I don’t know if Noah is signed or not. But I did point out a few months ago since BMG is affiliated with BBR it seems that any country artist from Idol who wants to get signed goes through BBR first. There is a lot of talent show alums on BBR & its imprints. While the country genre does seem to accept talent show alums more than other genres, many alums on the same label isn’t common. There are several alums who are new artists & haven’t established themselves such as Chayce, Drake Milligan (AGT), Madeline Merlo (Songland), etc. It would make sense due to their talent show backgrounds they would be more selective in who they sign. Noah has potential, but he’s also green. HunterGirl has the experience, songwriting ability, etc.

  6. He needs time. He had zero stage experience heading into idol. Hunter has been doing this a long long time and I’m glad she will get a chance.

    It has been reported else where that he is preparing an EP for BBR but it may be a different kind of deal. 19 recordings still follows him so I think they are still involved in his career. He should keep at it. One can never tell the future.

    Any idea why wheelhouse would even bother releasing stay if there wasn’t any deal in place?

    There doesn’t seem to be any need to actually win the show now… just have an EP ready, release during show and do well enough to be seen. Granted they all are doing better than before the show, it just seems like an exercise in futility to try to win.

  7. This is what confused me too. Stay being released under Wheelhouse made me just assume Noah had a record deal. Very confusing.

  8. I’m pretty sure he is signed to Wheelhouse Records or why would they bother releasing his music?

  9. Any indication which imprint she’s signed to?

    They’ve got the press release right on the main BBR page, but no artist picture yet.

  10. He could have been signed for a limited project, like one or two songs, with an option for more.

  11. I guess we will see what happens when Noah’s new single is released next week if it’s just through 19 or with an exclusive license to someone else. Again, if there is nothing for the winner of the show, what is the point. Like at least before there would be an album almost for sure. Just Sam is an outlier even compared to Noah. There must be some interest or someone backing him, maybe just 19? He is going on a coheadlining tour and has a band with him, all of this stuff is not cheap.

  12. I don’t know if this is the case, but sometimes artists only get one song on a label. There is such thing as one song deals. Also, I have heard of country artists having a “trial period” where the label needs to see if a released song gets enough buzz to give them an extension, part ways with them, or sign them fully on the label roster. It’s not common to see this with talent show alums. I remember it happening to S15 MacKenzie Bourg. He was signed immediately after his elimination to Big Machine (Idol’s label at the time). The label released his original “Roses” which did peak at #1 on iTunes. People thought he received a label deal at the time, but that song was his only release with the label. He wasn’t working with the label in development or on downtime so it did seem like a one song deal.

    According to his IG, Noah has a new single releasing the same day as HunterGirl. It’s odd to me if he was signed to a label that there’s no official label announcement with his single. However, Chayce also never received an official label announcement when he was signed to Wheelhouse Records. The first instance the public knew he was signed to a label was when he announced he was releasing his first single. That could be what is happening here with Noah & he is signed to Wheelhouse. I have said before that it didn’t make sense that Chayce never received an official label announcement because it’s not common for country labels to sign & release music of an artist with no official announcement that the artist is on the roster. But maybe this is something that’s more common on Wheelhouse.

    FYI: While HunterGirl is signed with BMG, they are not a country label. If she’s not signed to BBR or another known label, it will be hard for the new single to be released to country radio unless she drums up huge interest through streaming, TikTok, etc. for labels to gain interest such as Gabby Barrett, Bailey Zimmerman, Priscilla Block, etc.

  13. Add Candice to your list. She seems to be nonstop busy. Caleb is still performing, too.

  14. No one said they weren’t still working in the industry. But fact is that all the Idol winners from Candice on were dropped by their label after their debut album. Sam didn’t even get an album. No one had a radio hit. In addition to Gabby (too early to call her a superstar), the successes from the ABC era are Lauren Spencer Smith, Benson Boone, both of whom broke into the CHR chart. But neither really marketed themselves as Idol alums.

  15. Idol hasn’t been able to produce a commercially viable winner in years, regardless of what label they were on or their genre. Noah should compare notes with Candice, Caleb, Nick, Trent, Maddie, Laine, Sam, Chayce as to what really happens after the show.

  16. It depends what you think is a radio hit.

    Debut singles from Lauren Spencer-Smith, Benson Boone. They broke into the very competitive CHR chart. Just look at their streaming numbers alone. And she generated enough to buzz to perform on the VMA’s (MTV).

  17. It depends what you think is a radio hit.

    Debut singles from Lauren Spencer-Smith, Benson Boone. They broke into the very competitive CHR chart. Just look at their streaming numbers alone. And she generated enough to buzz to perform on the VMA’s (MTV).

  18. Yea but Lauren Soencer Smith hasn’t been able to follow up Fingers Crossed with another radio hit to finally release an album or her project. Benson Boone’s EP didn’t even debut well at all and he’s actually more successful Overseas surprisingly. It’s not just about radio play. We gotta think about touring, opportunities/shows (where the money is really at), if the radio hits are even actually building them longevity and fans in the industry or just radio hits and quick shelf life amongst a million other things. Idol hasn’t been able to produce SUPERSTARS but who really is besides TikTok?

  19. I would argue that most of those above, although not super duper famous are working in the industry in some capacity. Trent still writes/performs as does Maddie, Caleb, Nick. Chayce is releasing music and is doing well. Laine… well that’s mainly his own doing. Guess it depends on what the individual actually wants.

    I’m still surprised everyone passed on Gabby Barrett the first time around. If there is to be a superstar from ABC era it’s her. Not hunter ?????

  20. It depends what you think is a radio hit. Candice, Nick, Maddie, & Trent all had Top 20 hits in their format. These hits weren’t the Idol coronation song either. The problem was despite having a Top 20 hit none of them had good sales/streaming, had much buzz, gained more of a fanbase, etc. for the label to keep them. But those factors are all usually reasons why any artist is still on a label. There are artists who were never were on talent shows that had Top 20 hits & had those same factors & were also dropped.

  21. Yep. I think most think gold/platinum hit songs or albums and/or buzz in a genre or overall. But I think everyone is long past thinking it will only apply to the winners. Or that it all falls to radio (big help in the beginning tho). Because even with a hit radio single or two or three, they need to be able to push it into a really lucrative touring career or tv/movie/opportunities and media interest. After a really good start, it is still easy to go unnoticed or forgotten again.

  22. But who else from Idol, aside from Gabby, in the last few years have even come close to having the debuts that Lauren Spencer-Smith and Benson Boone have had. Certainly none of the winners and none that are signed to 19. Chayce’s EP tanked and he said he lost money with touring because of bad decisions.

  23. Dang can we stop comparing and let the artists career play out. The music industry game is A LOT of luck and stars aligning. Success is subjective. Idol isn’t a superstar maker like it’s heyday, we’re well aware. It’s a platform to boost their careers and it’s about what the artist makes out of it not the show. The contestants are getting more opportunities post idol than pre idol. Sometimes it takes artists 5-10 years to break out, the right song, right opportunity, right tour, making the right impression on the right person. Both of those artists you mentioned had tiktok viral songs. I bet if a contestant from idol had a viral tiktok song right after the show, they might break too but that’s not up to the show, that’s up to them.

  24. Dang, can we stop minimizing, dismissing others accomplishments, as with Lauren Spencer Smith and Benson Boone. And just give credit where credit is due. And if someone breakouts 5-10 years – like Jax, it has nothing to do with Idol anymore. Jax basically had to reinvent herself on Tik Tok and has refused to have anything to do with Idol.

  25. Yes, more credit needs to be given to Lauren Spencer Smith & Benson Boone. Artists accomplishments needs to be celebrated in a hard industry. However, in a previous reply to my comment before you seemed to dismiss several Idol winners (Ex. Maddie, Trent, etc.) from having a Top 20 radio hit in their formats. No, they didn’t have a CHR/Pop hit & some of their buzz was likely Idol related, but they did achieve a radio hit. These Idol winners didn’t have much radio success, but they did have that one Top 20 hit as an accomplishment. These alums didn’t have another radio hit afterwards, but we don’t know if Benson or Lauren will either. This is a fickle industry & there are many factors that goes into who is successful & sometimes they are out of an artist’s control.

  26. LOL in MANY other threads including threads about those two I’ve rooted and praised their accomplishments so idk what you talking about. You continuously say the same thing about idol has not produced a star in years. We get it. I’m not minimizing anyone’s accomplishments, I’m essentially saying that idol is a launching pad now and not an immediate star by the next season like it used to be. These contestants get industry experience and connections thru idol helping them get to the next level in their careers. We wouldn’t even be talking about any of these people on this site if they weren’t on idol in the first place.

  27. Case in point – Jacob Lusk. Same year as Scotty, Lauren, James, Casey, etc. Kind of went off the radar. What he was doing working with choirs somehow led to the stars to align and he’s suddenly selling out concerts in the UK, his producer is nominated for a Grammy, and he’s opening for Harry Styles. No one knows what will happen or how.

  28. She’s under BMG. They’ve updated the website last night and both her and Noah are on the roster for BMG Nashville

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