For all those "American Idol" viewers that enjoyed the husky retro-sounds of Haley Reinhart during her vocal battles against Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, there's great news. The 21-year-old singer is set to drop some new music on her fans and return to the "Idol" stage.
Reinhart announced via PRNewswire last week that the first single from her forthcoming album, Listen Up!, would be released on March 20. The song is entitled "Free" and will precede the release of her debut album by two months (May 22). Internet gossip Perez Hilton was quick to upload the song for fans to get a pre-emptive "free" listen (check it out here).
The song definitely has a retro feel to it, especially with the piano-driven melody. And then there are Reinhart's vocals, which are reminiscent of Billie Holiday (for those not wont to go back so far in time, think Corinne Bailey Ray). According to the press release, it is just the first of a 14-song set that is a "retro-flavored, yet thoroughly contemporary-sounding collection of songs."
And to generate a little interest in the song (and the album), Reinhart will perform just two days after the song is launched on, appropriately enough, "American Idol," where her career was launched. She will be part of the Top 10 results show, which will also feature rising star Lana Del Rey.
But that's not all. The girl with the bluesy voice will make an appearance on the next episode of the CW's "90210," where she portrays herself and will be seen singing part of "Free."
Reinhart will be the third "American Idol" alum to make an appearance in Season 11. Season 11 runner-up Lauren Alaina, who bested the "House of the Rising Sun" singer by one position, performed on the Top 13 results show. She performed the second single, "Georgia Peaches," from her debut album, Wildflower. Last week, Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry (frontman of Daughtry, the multi-platinum single and album-producing band), performed his latest song, "Outta My Head," which dropped two days prior to his band's performance.
Reinhart no doubt hopes to follow in the footsteps of the success found by such artists, prime examples that not being the winner of "American Idol" does not relegate the also-rans to oblivion. In fact, Daughtry, who finished fourth in Season 5, is the show's third bestselling artist (with album sales north of 6.5 million copies in the U. S. to date), behind Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood and Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson. Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken, who is currently appearing on the NBC reality show "Celebrity Apprentice," is the fourth bestselling artist (with nearly 5 million copies sold).
To provide Reinhart with even more hope of a successful career not determined by placement on "American Idol," Alaina's Wildflower has now sold over 258,000 copies, outselling both the post-"Idol" debuts of season winner and runner-up of Season 10 (Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, respectively). The album is also closing in on the sales of Season 9 winner Kris Allen, whose eponymous major label debut has sold only 329,000 units to date, far overshadowed by runner-up Adam Lambert's debut, For Your Entertainment, which has sold over 833,000 copies.
Catch Haley Reinhart's appearance on "American Idol" Thursday evening during the results show, scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST on Fox Television.
(photo credit: Michael Tanne, Creative Commons)