American Idol

American Idol 2016 Winner and Runner-Up Both Signed to Record Deals

We’re less than 24 hours removed from Trent Harmon being named the final American Idol, but the announcement has been made that both Harmon AND runner-up La’Porsha Renae have secured record deals with a major label.

As part of his deal as winner of American Idol, Harmon is signed to 19/Big Machine Records. However, La’Porsha Renae has also been signed to 19/Big Machine/Motown Records, in partnership with Big Machine.

“Because of the overwhelming fan demand and success of the farewell season of American Idol, we have made the decision to sign both the winner, Trent Harmon, and runner-up, La’Porsha Renae, to exclusive recording agreements,” said Big Machine Label Group founder and CEO Scott Borchetta, in an interview with Billboard. “I can’t think of a better way to bring this American institution to a close. Everyone at the Big Machine Label Group, the Universal Music Group and Motown Records are so thrilled with the outcome and can’t wait to get to work.”

With that said, Borchetta already has plans for Harmon going forward, telling Billboard: “We’re going to make a country record with him.”

American Idol 2016 Winner and Runner-Up Both Signed to Record Deals

Credit: FOX

The plans for La’Porsha Renae are similarly clear, according to Billboard:

Renae’s album will be overseen by Ethiopia Habtemariam, president of Motown and president of urban music/co-head of creative at Universal Music Publishing Group, who tells Billboard, “We are extremely excited to partner with Big Machine and 19 Entertainment on such an incredible talent as La’Porsha.”

The deals were orchestrated by 19 Entertainment executive vp/worldwide head of music Jason Morey, who adds, “American Idol has always been about the search for a superstar. This season, America helped us find two. We’re ecstatic to welcome these world-class artists to the 19 Entertainment family.”

No word on when we can expect the albums to release, considering we’re still waiting on an album from last year’s winner, Nick Fradiani. But maybe it’s best not to rush this thing. After all, Kelly Clarkson didn’t release her first album until almost a year after she won, but she went on to great things. Granted, you can’t really compare the two situations because the music landscape now is so much different now than it was then, with digital releases taking primacy over in-store/physical releases. I guess we’ll see how Trent and La’Porsha do if/when their respective albums come out. But I wish them both the best of luck. They’re both insanely talented, and I hope other artists from this season are signed. Dalton Rapattoni has all the potential in the world to be a star, and MacKenzie Bourg has already seen his single, “Roses”, climb the iTunes charts. If anything, people like Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson prove that you don’t have to make the finale to be a big deal.

But what do you think of both the winner and runner-up of American Idol 2016 being signed to recording contracts? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on American Idol 2016, relive the EPIC series finale with videos of the highlight performances!

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