What Is American Idol?
For those of you who barred television from your homes for the past 8 years, American Idol (AI) is a hit television program which debuted in 2002 on the FOX network, and has become one of the most popular programs on American television today. Several American Idol contestants have signed recording contracts with gospel music companies and gone on to perform Christian music on national tours.
From Idol to Inspiration
This year Ruben Studdard from season 2, Mandisa from season 5, and Chris Sligh and Melinda Doolittle from season 6 were all nominated for Dove Awards by the Gospel Music Association members, and the Gospel Music Channel aired a special called “From Idol to Inspiration” about “American Idol’s” gospel music connection immediately preceeding the Dove Awards. (1)
American Idol Alumni & Gospel Music
American Idol alumni who have recorded and performed gospel music following their time as AI contestants as well as those current contestants who have ties to gospel music include: Ruben Studdard, RJ Helton, George Huff, Clay Aiken, Mandisa, Chris Sligh, Carrie Underwood, Phil Stacey, Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Stevie Scott, Nadia Turner, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Scott MacIntyre, Michael Sarver, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Felicia Barton, Lil Rounds, etc., and Katelyn Tarver who was a finalist on the only season of American Idol Juniors in the early 2000s.(2)
While not all these artists have remained in gospel music, the list of “American Idol” contestants who pursue careers in gospel music keeps growing each year. To read brief summaries of 22 of the “American Idol” contestants who have current or past ties to gospel music, read the complete article at: Gospel Artists and the American Idol Factor. (3)
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