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American Idol: A grass-roots groundswell for Brooke White?

October 28, 2008 | 10:51 pm


As she prepares to break ground on her first post-show album, Brooke White's recording past may be rearing its head and making some ripples across the music world. 

While her next album may still be many months away, a song from her pre-"Idol "indie record has been causing a sensation on some audience-driven polls.

The track in question is titled
"Free," and was recorded for White's 2006 debut album "Songs From the Attic," which was independently published by her management company's label, New Millennium Records. Although was taken out of the retail world after White entered the "Idol" bubble, it returned to the market once she left the show.

Brooke_adult_chart Recently, however, the lead track has been dramatically racing up the charts, at least the charts on the IHeartMusic site, a Clear Channel entity that's also linked on the Web portals of the company's numerous stations.  Appearing under the sites' "Discover New Music" section, the exact parameters of how exactly a song gets into the top 20 is not explained on the site -- and Clear Channel representatives failed to return calls requesting explanation. 

However, the listing appears to be a chart of the songs played most often by visitors to the sites. Among the available songs are those submitted by artists who wish to have their music "considered for terrestrial broadcast" by Clear Channel programmers. However, while many of the songs on the charts come from unknown talents, many are by highly visible acts such as MIA and Ray LaMontagne.

Fans of "Idol's" smoky-voiced songstress would be delighted to find, however, that months before White's first post-show album will appear in stores, her "Free" track is dominating the IHeartMusic charts. The cut has recently been taking the pole position on both the country and adult contemporary lists, and second on the overall chart. A screenshot of the adult chart is included in this post.

Yet despite her success on the company's website, the Clear Channel stations have yet to throw open the doors to White's earlier work.  According to Neilsen BBS data, which tracks airplay at all Clear Channel station, "Free" has not received a single at bat on any Clear Channel stations. 

For reasons that obscure, White's online success has yet to force open the doors to the airwaves for her maiden effort. Again, Clear Channel representatives did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

-- Richard Rushfield

(photo courtesy of Fox)