"American Idol" creator and executive producer Simon Fuller, in partnership with 19 Entertainment and CKX, Inc., will manage season 10's winner and runner-up, according to a statement being released today by XIX Entertainment.
Over the show's nearly decade-long run, Fuller has guided the careers of only a select group of Idols, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, David Cook and Chris Daughtry. It marks the first time he's taken a hands-on role in the post-show career of a finalist since Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert, who went on to become one of the biggest out-the-gate Idol successes.
Fuller was also instrumental in orchestrating the show's new partnership with Universal Music Group and bringing Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine into the "Idol" fold. Said UMG chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge: "Simon possesses an incredible track record as an artist manager and this is a win-win for everyone. The fact that he will be guiding the careers of the winner and runner up is a tremendous boost for "American Idol's" talent and in many ways, it's also part of the prize."
The release details that the "Idol" franchise has sold more than 250 million downloads on iTunes, a tally host Ryan Seacrest cited on the show last week. He too chimes in on Fuller's decision to personally manage the last contestant standing, noting "Past winners have become stars under [Fuller's] guidance, and I'm psyched that this year's American Idol winner will have the opportunity to work with him to cultivate their respective promising careers. It's going to be exciting to watch."
Fuller launched XIX earlier this year with a talent roster that includes Annie Lennox, David Beckham and Lisa Marie Presley, among others.