“I think I’m still in shock that this is happening,” Iraheta said in a statement. “Getting to record my first album and this whole awesome experience is a dream come true!”
Iraheta, who turned 17 during the eighth season, is the show’s youngest contestant to make it to the top 12 and was the last girl standing in this year’s competition. The young singer was compared to Janis Joplin and praised for her throaty vocals and musical talent beyond her years. Judges also compared Iraheta’s big voice to Pink and season one “Idol” Kelly Clarkson.
Notable performances on the show include Iraheta’s renditions of Heart’s “Alone,” Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Joplin’s “Cry Baby” and Foghat’s “Slow Ride,” which she sang as a duet with runner-up Adam Lambert.
After being voted off, Iraheta got the honor of performing a duet of “Time After Time” with Cyndi Lauper on the season finale.
“Her bluesy, powerful voice, spunky attitude, and edgy star power immediately captivated us and it didn’t matter where she ranked on Idol,” Barry Weiss, the CEO of RCA/Jive label group, said in the statement. “We knew we wanted her to join our amazing crop of young talent at Jive.”
Iraheta’s debut record is set for release this fall.
Earlier this week eighth season winner Kris Allen announced he had also signed a record deal with 19 Recordings and Jive Records. Lambert announced he had signed with 19 Recordings and licensed to RCA Records. Allen’s and Lambert’s albums are also set for release this fall.
Danny Gokey, who finished this season in third place, is expected to also announce a record deal.
Entertainment Weekly reported that a rep at 19 Recordings said, "There’s nothing to report just yet."
Iraheta, Lambert, Allen, Gokey and rest of the top 10 Idols will be on tour this summer for the 50-date “American Idols Live” tour.
Read the Entertainment Weekly article here.