Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

'American Idol' winner Lee DeWyze dropped by RCA Records

October 6, 2011 |  1:51 pm


Lee DeWyze might have taken the crown on "American Idol" last year but today, he needs a new label to call home.

Following a recent restructuring of RCA Records, the long-running home of "Idol" winners, the label decided not to extend his contract and quietly dropped the 25-year-old rocker, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

RCA kept previous "Idol" winners Kris Allen, David Cook, Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood and inaugural winner Kelly Clarkson. DeWyze will continue to be managed by 19 Entertainment and is "in a good place" as he works on new projects, a spokesperson for the management company told Pop & Hiss on Thursday.

DeWyze didn't have the best post-"Idol" track record. His debut, "Live It Up," arrived to mostly stale reviews and logged 39,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its No. 19 debut is the lowest for a winner from the franchise, including Taylor Hicks.

The disc is only the second, after Season 8 winner Allen's eponymous debut, to not debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. "Live It Up" also failed to yield any major hits, making it less surprising that the label would decline to go forward with the singer.

DeWyze's option with the label reportedly expired in September, and he was the last signee of the franchise's nine-year partnership with 19 Recordings and RCA's parent company, Sony Music. Contestants on the show now broker deals through Universal Music Group.

He is only the second "Idol" winner to be dropped from the "Idol" label after one album, following Hicks losing the support of Arista Records, which, like Jive and J Records, were part of RCA.

DeWyze recently headlined two nights at Hollywood's tiny Hotel Cafe -- one of L.A.'s preeminent launch pads for local singer-songwriters hoping to catch a break.


'American Idol' favorite Pia Toscano lands record deal with Interscope

Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina make post-'American Idol' chart debuts, ink deals with Mercury Nashville

'American Idol' winner Lee DeWyze to gig the tiny Hotel Cafe

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Lee DeWyze is crowned the winner of "American Idol." Credit: Fox