American Idol kicked off its 13th season. Many things were the same….soulful singers, talentless time wasters, sob stories with a guaranteed ticket to Hollywood, and some promising country music talent. Reality TV has had its fair share of criticism with AI leading the pack. People seem to be sick of the same thing over and over but there is absolutely no denying the lasting impact the show has had on the country music industry.
If there is a queen of American Idol, Carrie Underwood takes the crown. Blown Away, her most recent album, was the 4th to achieve multi-Platinum success. She recently crossed into acting with a live production of Sound of Music, hosts the CMA awards each year with Brad Paisley and almost every single she puts out charts with 12 going to to the top spot.
Carrie could be the only country singer to come out of American Idol and it would be an industry success but that is not the case. Idol gave us the spunky Kellie Pickler who’s genuine sweetness wins over fans on and off stage. She has a knack for old school storytelling that attracts purists but a youthfulness that draws in younger fans as well.
A favorite among the ladies, Casey James released his debut album with Sony Records in 2012. He has opened for major national acts and its entertaining to watch him interact with fans. Scott McCreery brings a unique variety of music and and just may have the most loyal social media fan base in the industry.
Those were not the only stars discovered on American Idol. Josh Gracin was the very first in the industry to get some recognition. We also found the inspirational Danny Gokey who announced new music coming up soon. We have Bucky Covington, last years second place winner Kree Harrison, the beautiful Lauren Alaina and pop country super star Kelly Clarkson.
Ratings may be down and the future of American Idol is rumored to be bleak. No matter the outcome we will be forever grateful for the exposure it gave artists that may not have otherwise been given a chance.