B&E: Bo Bice

Breaking & Entering: A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts. This week: Bo Bice.

Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard's charts.

Fourth season "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice entered the TV-show competition on a dare. It was one that paid off -- Bice wound up as one of two contestants competing for the crown in the series' season finale. Although Carrie Underwood won, Bice is already well on his way to becoming this year's Clay Aiken.

Last week Bice's single, "Inside Your Heaven," entered Billboard's Pop 100 singles chart at No. 1 and the Hot 100 at No. 2.

"This is incredible, man. No. 1? That's wild. I can't believe that," Bice says upon hearing the news of his chart debut. "Do you actually know that it's me? There's no mistake? Y'all didn't mess up on the count maybe?"

As his newfound success unfolds, the Helena, Ala., native has been working on his debut album, which will be released in the fall via 19 Recordings/RCA.

"I've been doing some studio work and practicing with my band, Sugar Money, when I have a chance to go back home," he says. "Obviously I'm still plugging my cats there, and trying to get the band on the road with me. These guys have been my family, my brothers for 12 years, but they're gonna have to audition just like anybody else. Just like I had to go audition for 'American Idol,' you know what I mean?

"It's blowin' my mind that [Sugar Money] has gotten this response at all," he continues. "On the Web site, sugarmoney.net, we get [a lot of] e-mails -- and I'm talkin' from like Sri Lanka, Australia, Iceland. I mean, I didn't even know they had computers in Iceland. I thought they would have done froze right up. It's crazy, man. But I dig it."

Along with working with his band, Bice says he also hopes to include some of his own songs on the album. "I don't want to try to appeal to anybody. I want to get out there and play my music, and whoever goes out and buys my album buys my album," he says. "When you start trying to center yourself down a specific avenue, you lose focus of what your passion is. If you ever lose focus of that, well, who wants to buy crap? But if you genuinely love every single song you put on an album and it flops, well, I would rather be that guy standing there going, 'Hey man, it flopped, but I loved it.'"

In addition to recording, Bice will also be on the road with the American Idols Live tour this summer. "It's gonna be cool to see all these different people comin' together to listen to some great music, man," he says. "I know we're gonna have a blast putting it on for people, and hopefully the people out there will have as much fun checking it out."

As for being the show's runner-up, Bice wouldn't want it any other way.

"[The annual festival] Bonnaroo is the roots of music; it's like the second coming of Woodstock every year. [While performing there] I thought, oh man, I was on this damn TV show and these people [in the audience] are going to kill me when I walk out [on stage]. These are a bunch of hippies, just like me, but they don't know that I'm a hippie. But I was up there playing with [Lynyrd] Skynyrd. We were all just hanging out, playing music, jamming. To be accepted there, man, was truly something. That was more of a crowning moment for me than anything else.

"I'm a writer and musician at heart, and I think [winning] would have made it harder for me to stay true to my music," he adds. "Everybody knows that there's a compromise in everything you do, but I have a few less compromises that I have to take on now."

Links:
Artist site: www.sugarmoney.net
Label site: www.rcarecords.com