RCA Catches McPheever
By Natalie Finn Wed Jun 7, 3:57 PM ET
Second place is looking a lot like first for Katharine McPhee.
The 22-year-old American Idol runner-up inked her first record contract Tuesday, a partnership with Clive Davis' RCA Records in association with 19 Recordings Limited, the label managed by Idol creator Simon Fuller.
Idol champ Taylor Hicks signed a similar deal last week. The Alabama native's first single, the gospel-tinged "Do I Make You Proud," hits stores June 13 and on Tuesday was number 10 on Amazon.com's top sellers list.
The Idol-tailored single McPhee performed on the show, "My Destiny," is being released June 27 coupled with "Over the Rainbow," the song that Simon Cowell deemed the "most perfect song in the world" for her. Her two on-camera renditions of the Wizard of Oz favorite were singled out as being perhaps the best single vocal performances--by anyone--of the season.
Taking her second-place finish in stride, McPhee told reporters after the finale that she harbored no hard feelings.
"It would really just be silly to feel bad for me at this point," she said. "I got a record deal, a new car and I have all these great fans and wonderful people in my life." True, the grass is always greener when you're whizzing by in your brand new Mustang.
While the California girl was planning to kick back and relax the week after the show ended, she's back on task now rehearsing for the American Idols Live 2006 tour, which kicks off July 5 and has just been extended by three weeks and 15 cities.
But what should we expect from McPhee when she finally gets to spend a little alone time in the studio?
"My first task is going to be to sit down with her and see what her vision is for herself," Arista founder Davis told People. "She is a pop singer. There is no question. Our task will be to find hits for her that fit her like a glove and that can be hits on today's radio. That is the challenge and the task that lies in front of us."
And after that? McPhee told TVGuide.com that she wouldn't mind taking a cue from another certain long-haired beauty.
"Julia Roberts is a wonderful person and someone I'd like to model my career after, even though she's not a singer," she said. "I definitely want to do movies. I know it's a cliché that every singer wants to be an actress and every actress wants to be a singer, but these are the things that I want, and we'll see how they play out."
McPheever is already taking the classical world by storm.
Andrea Bocelli, who lent his expertise to Idol earlier this season, has invited McPhee to be a guest singer this week at his concerts in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Jose