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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

'American Idol' Sligh to Pursue Christian Music Career

By Kevin Jackson
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Apr. 03 2007

The curly-haired phenom of this season’s American Idol will use his media exposure from one of the most watched television shows ever to continue on a singing career in Christian music.

Chris Sligh, who was quoted as “bringing back chunky,” has decided to meet up with a Christian band he formed last year called Half Past Forever and use his recent popularity to possibly solidify a record contract with a Christian label. He feels the chances are good since there had already been interest in a CD that the band created (Take a Chance on Something Beautiful) before the show.

“Idol presents an avenue for advertising in music that major labels simply cannot buy,” expressed Cole Edmonson, bassist for Half Past Forever, in the Boston Herald. “It springboards you in a media whirlwind.”

The group has seen instant results as their CD, which had been ranked in the 13,000s for the past year on, skyrocketed to No. 25.

They hope to see a similar effect with their current music video for their song “Know.” It is posted on an online video contest sponsored by Music Nation, and the first prize is a recording contract with Epic Records.

“Chris may not be the best vocalist they’ve got (on Idol),” expressed Adam Fisher, lead guitarist for the group, in the Boston Herald. “But his presence on the show has already significantly impacted us. We’re going to take the opportunity for all it’s worth.”

Sligh, 28, had made remarks in the past week that he was somewhat happy to have been voted off Idol. He was discontent with the style of music that he was made to sing, and would not have enjoyed his music career had he won.

He even reported that he had thought of quitting the show once he had made the top 10, but continued on so that he could join the American Idol tour, which he could not join unless he was voted off.

The South Carolina native had also noted how he was not surprised by his expulsion. He had made a side bet of $50 with another of the show’s remaining Christian artists, Phil Stacey, about who would get voted out first. Sligh could be seen saying, “You owe me $50,” to his friend Stacey during his exit song on the Wednesday vote-off show.

“I’m excited to get back to my band,” said Sligh, during a telephone press session the day after his exit. “We had some label interest before, so this should really have opened some doors for us.”

Besides his band, Sligh is also looking forward to returning to his home church where he plans on helping out with much of the ministry there.

"When I get back to Greenville, my plan is definitely to be involved with the church as much as possible,” he said in a closing public interview.

In the interview, he also reaffirmed his contentment with being booted from the show.

"It comes down to this: I made the top 10, that was my goal,” the singer explained. “I wanted to make the tour. I wanted to be able to do making music for my living, so I don’t have to work at the marketing company that I was working at.”

American Idol will continue this Tuesday and Wednesday with the live performance program and vote-off show, respectively.

Still in the running are three Gospel Music Association (GMA) favorites – Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle, and Phil Stacey. All three contestants have strong support from the network of pro-gospel music artists and industry leaders as well as the Christian community.

(Photo: AP / Fox Television, Frank Micelotta)
In this photo provided by Fox television, Chris Sligh performs on 'American Idol', Tuesday, March 27, 2007 in Los Angeles. Sligh, the curly-haired jokester who once claimed he was 'bringing chubby back,' said goodbye to 'American Idol' on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 becoming the latest singer bounced in viewer voting. He has also shown interest in finding a Christian music label with his band Half Past Forever, whose musical genre he prefers.


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