Billboard Hot 100 Fest

Kristy Starling

This big-voiced Oklahoma City native landed her record deal via a talent competition on NBC's Today Show.

This big-voiced Oklahoma City native landed her record deal via a talent competition on NBC's Today Show. While she finished in second place, Starling caught the attention of veteran hitmaker David Foster, who is one of five producers here. This fine debut album showcases Starling's powerhouse vocals: While some newcomers can't overcome the urge to shoot for the rafters with every note, Starling exercises tasteful restraint, and the result is an album filled with wonderfully nuanced performances (the soulful "There Will Come a Day" and the soaring ballad "Broken"). "Something More (I Will Praise You)" is a gorgeous song, too. Overflowing with solid material and skilled production, as well as the singer's voice, Kristy Starling marks the arrival of a major new talent.—DEP