July 1, 2008 The fastest way to get a recording contract in Nashville these days is to compete on "American Idol" and declare yourself a country artist.
Kristy Lee Cook, who ranked among the final 12 on this years edition of the TV singing competition, was officially announced yesterday as the newest member of the Arista Records artist roster, having signed to the label through 19 Recordings, a company founded by "Idol" creator Simon Fuller. The British management empresario keeps a condo in Nashville and has previously signed Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler to Arista.
"Ive wanted this for so many years," Kristy Lee says. "To have the chance to be a country singer to make the music I love and to have enjoyed the support of so many American Idol fans this past season, it all means more than I can put into words."
During her run on "Idol," Kristy Lee performed Dolly Partons "Coat Of Many Colors," Lee Greenwoods "God Bless The U.S.A." and the Martina McBride hit "Anyway," among others. Her own first single for Arista, "15 Minutes Of Shame," will be released in the next six weeks.
Arista labelmates are not the only former "Idol" contestants currently working in country music. Lyric Street Records, a Disney-affiliated company, nabbed Josh Gracin, Phil Stacey and Bucky Covington.