Christian AMERICAN IDOL Alum Gabby Barrett Makes Country Music History
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
In 2018, a 17-year-old Gabby Barrett auditioned for the singing competition show AMERICAN IDOL and finished in third place.
Although singing competitions are not guarantees for overnight popularity, Barrett’s hard work is reaping success.
With the release of Barrett’s breakthrough debut album, “Goldmine,” she became the first female country singer to earn more than 10 million streams in one week. Barrett’s album also became the highest-streamed debut album for a country act.
This is especially impressive, considering the country music genre’s listener numbers are usually lower than other formats.
In addition, Barrett, 20, recently won the 2020 CMT Music Award for Breakthrough Video of The Year for her debut single, “I Hope.”
The song, which was the first single Barrett sent to country radio, went triple platinum and is sitting at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 100.
“It was a big bowl of insane in the best way,” Barrett said. “I can’t really even put it into words. It didn’t feel real.”
Billboard did not expect this kind of success from an AMERICAN IDOL alum.
“I might not have predicted that it would climb all the way to the Hot 100 top 10,” Katie Atkinson wrote. “That’s massive — especially for an AMERICAN IDOL alum in the year 2020.”
However, Barrett recognizes the singing competition’s formative power in her career.
“IDOL was such a huge highlight in my career. Even if it’s not the end all be all, it’s a big part of my journey,” Barrett said. “Two years later, people still message me, saying, ‘I just watched your performance of [Miranda Lambert’s] ‘Little Red Wagon’ on IDOL and I love it’ … It’s really nice to see people stick with you.”
Barrett also just announced the release of her first Christmas track with her rendition of the timeless classic “The First Noel.”
“Christmas is one of my absolute favorite days of the year,” Barrett said. “My faith is the cornerstone of my life, so being able to share both with ‘The First Noel’ is a gift. I feel so blessed to do what I do every day, and I hope that this song adds something special to your holidays.”
Barrett also has another gift in her future.
She and her husband, fellow AMERICAN IDOL alum Cade Foehner, are currently expecting their first child in early 2021.
— CMT (@CMT) October 22, 2020