'Idol' Allison Iraheta lands record deal

Debut album scheduled for fall release

On the heels of record deal announcements by Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, fellow "American Idol" finalist Allison Iraheta has inked a deal with 19 Recordings and Jive Records to release her debut album in the fall, it was announced Wednesday. The 17-year-old singer finished fourth on "Idol" and at 16 was the youngest contestant to ever make the Top 12.

"I think I'm still in shock that this is happening," Iraheta said in a statement. "Getting to record my first album and this whole awesome experience is a dream come true!"

Iraheta, who was born to El Salvadorian immigrants in California, emerged as an early favorite on "Idol" with a powerful rendition of Heart's "Alone" that rivaled the tide-turning version Carrie Underwood performed on Season 4. The singer earned comparisons to pop artists with rock-influenced vocals, like Pink and Kelly Clarkson, and performed a show-stealing duet of Foghat's "Slow Ride" with Lambert during Rock Week; the recorded version of their duet landed at No. 5 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. Iraheta also joined Cyndi Lauper for a moving duet of "Time After Time" on the "Idol" season finale.

"Allison was an absolute stand-out this season," said Barry Weiss, Chairman and CEO of RCA/JIVE Label Group. "Her bluesy, powerful voice, spunky attitude, and edgy star power immediately captivated us and it didn't matter where she ranked on 'Idol,' we knew we wanted her to join our amazing crop of young talent at Jive."

Iraheta will find a familiar labelmate in "Idol" winner Kris Allen, who announced his signing to 19 Recordings and Jive on Monday. Lambert's signing to 19 and RCA Records was announced the following day.