Seventeen-year-old Josiah Leming -- known as the teary-eyed "American Idol" contestant who just missed making it through the show's Hollywood audition rounds -- has signed with Warner Bros. Records for a record and publishing deal.

His booting from "Idol" came as a surprise, as the show's producers invested a serious amount of time to detailing his back-story. Leming left home to pursue a musical career and lived in his car as he tried to find a way to support his out-of-work father and ill mother.

The Morristown, Tenn., native saw a surge of interest in his performances after his abrupt elimination, including appearances on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show and a story on MTV News.

Leming will start recording his album this week, according to Warner Bros.