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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 5

'Idol 5' runner-up Katharine McPhee talks about her debut album

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/23/2007 

Katharine McPhee's first single off her debut album is titled "Over It," but is it a reference to the American Idol 5 runner-up's feelings about her time on the Fox mega-hit?  Not according to McPhee.

"I like my first single because it's clever," McPhee said in the January 26 issue of Entertainment Weekly.  "So many people say, 'Oh, I'm so over it, I'm so over him...' It's a perfect little break-up song for women who are like, 'Ugh!  I'm over your lies.'"

While the 22-year-old is hopeful about sales for her album, she knows it's going to take a lot more than just Idol's devoted fans for it to be successful.

"The thing about Idol is, only so many fans who followed you on it are going to want your record," she told Entertainment Weekly.  "After that, [your music] needs to take you to people who don't necessarily care about the show."

For example, McPhee said she voted for Idol's second season winner Ruben Studdard "millions of times," but she never bought his debut album (ouch).  Because part of reaching a broader fan base involves changing her image, McPhee said that's what she plans to do.  "Once you've been on Idol, you have to transform yourself into a legitimate artist," she told Entertainment Weekly

So who's setting the example for McPhee's transformation?  Former mouseketeer Justin Timberlake.

"No one remembers that [Timberlake's] the guy who came off a silly show called The Mickey Mouse Club and then he was in a cheesy boy band, but, actually, he's really talented," McPhee told Entertainment Weekly.

And when it comes time to go on tour to promote her new album, McPhee says she hopes it will be more like the one she accompanied Andrea Bocelli on and less like last year's Idol tour (which she joined late and broke her foot on).

"Andrea Bocelli and I hit it off that one time on Idol, and he asked if I'd go on tour for a few dates," she told Entertainment Weekly.  "It was so laid-back compared to the Idols tour.  It was an honor to come off a reality show and work with one of the best singers in the world."

While McPhee said she's always been into pop -- the main genre of music featured on her debut album -- she thinks its sound has changed over the last decade.

"Ten years ago, Celine Dion was the pop sound; now it's more urban, so she's not really what you hear," McPhee told Entertainment Weekly.  "I'm still a fan of hers, it's just not the kind of music I want to sing."

McPhee's debut album is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, January 30 by 19 Recordings, which is owned by Simon Fuller, who brought Idol to Fox from Britain.

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