“American Idol” season seven winner David Cook was approached to be the frontman of hard rock band Hinder, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Cook turned down the offer so he can continue to work on his own music, but is said to have been “very interested” in filling in for singer Austin Winkler, who recently entered rehab for the second time.
“David Cook was at the top of our list,” Hinder manager Kevin “Chief” Zaruk of Chief Music Management tells THR. And fan favorite Cook wasn’t the only Idol the band reached out to – season 10’s James Durbin was also in the running, Zaruk reveals. “We would’ve loved to have either, but the timing didn’t work out.”
The Oklahoma-based Hinder is best known for the 2006 hit “Lips of an Angel,” which reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The band announced on July 10 that Winkler is on “temporary leave for personal reasons.” In his stead, Jared Weeks from Saving Abel will fill in, occasionally switching off with Marshal Dutton from Drankmore, who co-produced Hinder’s latest album, Welcome to the Freakshow, with co-founder and drummer Cody Hanson.
As for Cook, THR hears he has another offer on the table: a recording contract from Verve, which is owned by Universal Music Group and run by veteran producer David Foster, who also happens to be husband to “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’” Yolanda Foster. Cook is “considering” the terms of the record deal, says a source.
A rep for Cook did not respond to THR’s request for comment.
Durbin is also in the studio working on the follow-up to his 2011 debut, “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster.”
Winkler is said to be doing well, having taken the initiative to check himself into rehab “because he felt like he was slipping,” Zaruk explains, adding that it’s not uncommon for people with substance abuse problems to opt for a refresher course. “We just want him to get healthy and get happy.”