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Interscope Records, the Universal Music Group label with exclusive rights to alumni of the Fox show, is not picking up the 22-year-old singer’s option for future recordings, a source close to the situation tells The Hollywood Reporter. Neither a record company spokesman nor representatives from 19 Entertainment would confirm the news.
After coming in third on Idol in 2011, behind runner-up Lauren Alaina and winner Scotty McCreery, Reinhart released her debut album, Listen Up!, in May 2012. It sold 20,000 units the first week, good for the No. 17 spot on the Billboard 200, but failed to pick up much momentum, moving a total of 59,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Comparitively, albums by McCreery and Alaina, both on Mercury Nashville, far outpaced the bluesy singer’s, though Reinhart, an Illinois native, did make American Idol history as the first show alum to perform at Lollapalooza. More recently, she, along with season 10’s Casey Abrams, performed at New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall.
It seems as far as Interscope is concerned, Idols have a one-shot opportunity — if a singer’s album doesn’t gain traction — even in spite of positive reviews, as in Reinhart’s case — or a single doesn’t take off (see: Pia Toscano), Universal, unlike its predecessor Sony Music, moves on quickly.
Still, several of Reinhart’s fellow contestants with deals on smaller labels remain signed including James Durbin (Wind-Up Records), Abrams (Concord) and Naima Adedapo (Peak). Most recently, eighth place finalist Paul McDonald and his wife, Twilight actress Nikki Reed, released an EP via their own label Enzo and Ira Records.
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