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"Idol" Kristy Lee Cook Signs With Arista Nashville, Again

July 1, 2008 9:10 AM ET

After finishing in seventh place on this season's American Idol, country singer Kristy Lee Cook is returning to Arista Nashville, the same label that signed and then dropped her in 1999. The label, along with AI's 19 Recordings, will release Cook's first single "15 Minutes of Shame" on August 11th, with an album to follow in the fall. The album will be produced by Brett James, who co-wrote AI champ Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel." So why would a record label devote money and studio space to a seventh place finisher when, just last week, season six runner-up Blake Lewis was dropped from his contract? Post-American Idol, contestants seems to fare better with country music than with R&B or rock or whatever genre Lewis was, as evidenced by the massive success of Carrie Underwood and, on a much smaller scale, Kellie Pickler, Bucky Covington and the second season's Josh Gracin. While none of the latter three ever top the Billboard Top 200, they all had a Top 1 or 2 album on the U.S. Country Albums charts.

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Song Stories

“Fantasy”

Mariah Carey | 1995

Serendipity stuck when Mariah Carey rediscovered the glitchy Tom Tom Club hook, a sample of which is the heart of this upbeat slice of dance pop. "I had the melody idea for 'Fantasy' and I was listening to the radio and heard 'Genius of Love,' and I hadn't heard it in a long time," Carey said. "It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and that feeling the song gave me seemed to go with the melody and basic idea I had for 'Fantasy.' I initially told [co-writer] Dave Hall about the idea, and we did it. We called up the Tom Tom Club and they were really into it."

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