CMA Awards 2018

Almost 'Idol' Guarini Signs Recording Pact

Justin Guarini, the hopeful singer that U.S. television viewers got to know through the Fox series "American Idol," has taken another step toward the big time. Guarini, who was runner up to Kelly Clar

Justin Guarini, the hopeful singer that U.S. television viewers got to know through the Fox series "American Idol," has taken another step toward the big time. Guarini, who was runner up to Kelly Clarkson in the televised reality talent competition series, has signed a recording contract with "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller's U.K.-based 19 Recordings Limited. His as-yet-untitled and unscheduled debut solo album will be subsequently licensed to RCA for U.S. release.

"We look forward to working with Justin to nurture his talent and help him build a recording career at RCA," RCA Music Group chairman Bob Jamieson said in a statement. "Justin already captured the imaginations of millions of 'American Idol' viewers. We're confident he'll do the same with his music."

Guarini has two songs featured on the 15-track "American Idol's Greatest Moments" compilation, released last week by RCA. Also boasting four cuts by Clarkson, and songs by show finalists Nikki McKibbin, Tamyra Gray, RJ Helton, Cristina Christian, Ryan Starr, A.J. Gil, Ejay Day, and Jim Verraros, the disc finds Guarini performing the tracks "For Once in My Life" and "Get Here."

RCA is also home to Clarkson, who recently set a Billboard record, when her debut single "A Moment Like This" made the biggest single-week leap to No. 1 in the history of Billboard's Hot 100. The single sold 236,000 copies in the U.S. during its initial week at retail, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and rocketed 52-1 on the chart. The performance of her single beat a record held by the Beatles since the week of April 4, 1964, when "Can't Buy Me Love" soared 27-1.

A six-week trek North American tour featuring Clarkson, Guarini, and the eight other "Idol" finalists kicked off last night (Oct. 8) in San Diego and runs through Nov. 20 in Seattle. Clarkson's debut set, originally scheduled for a Nov. 26 release, has been pushed back until early 2003.

Since Fuller founded his 19 Group of Companies in 1985, the company has produced more than 60 top-40 albums and 170 top-40 singles in the U.K. Fuller's resume includes management of international sensation the Spice Girls, as well as U.K. phenomenon S Club 7. His 19TV also created and produced the U.K. series "Pop Idol" the predecessor of "American Idol."