We knew from the moment Crystal Bowersox hit our TV screens last January that she wasn't your typical American Idol contestant.
With an acoustic guitar -- signed by one of her heroes, Melissa Etheridge -- slung over her shoulder like an old backpack, she instantaneously turned the Idol formula on its head, not just with her trademark dreadlocks, but also her raw singing style which impressed the judges from the get-go. Now, it looks like her debut album, Farmer's Daughter, is on track for a strong first week, with sales expected to top Season 9's eventual winner, Lee DeWyze.
Indeed, when it comes to marketing Crystal Bowersox the artist, her label Jive Records is also planning some not-so-traditional moves, like trying to book a performance slot at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and sending Crystal to South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual gathering of music fanatics and industry professionals in Austin, Texas.
"The key with Crystal is to deliver her live as much as we possibly can," says Jive's vp of marketing, Lisa Cambridge. "She has a level of integrity as an artist, is so empowered and everything she does creatively is to that end, so her fans are very passionate about her. She's also extremely acoustic, so she can take a guitar and do a show anywhere, like SXSW or Bonnaroo -- things that Idols can't usually do."
Truth be told, Crystal wouldn't be the first Idol to take the Bonnaroo stage. In 2005, Season 4 runner-up Bo Bice was invited to join Phish frontman Trey Anastasio for a balls-out rendition of Van Halen's "Panama" and later jammed with Galactic on the Led Zeppelin classic "Whole Lotta Love." A year earlier, Idol reject William Hung served as the Grand Marshal for the festival's Mardi Gras-themed opening parade.
The lineup for Bonnaroo is typically announced in late January or early February. A rep for the festival tells THR the bill is still being finalized.