Bucky Covington became the eighth contestant from the fifth season of American Idol to ink a recording contract, as the 29-year-old recently signed a deal with Nashville's Lyric Street Records, E! Online  reported.

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Scheduled to be released on April 17, the former body-shop worker said he hopes the debut album is just another step in his career as a musician.

"It's going to be a country record, definitely, anything from slow ballads to upbeat, humorous songs, and I've got some songs that are almost rock," Covington said of his yet-to-be-titled album. "I'm very happy with the way things are going. I don't want overnight success, I want longevity."

Covington, a native of Rockingham, NC, first picked-up a guitar at the age of 19 and joined his first band soon after that.  Several years ago, he switched to a country/beach/rock band and realized that his talent crosses many types of music.  He was right, as the North Carolina crooner was noticed by American Idol judges during his audition.  He was the fifth finalist eliminated from the fifth installment of Idol, but holds no hard feelings against the show or the voters.

"It's so amazing, what American Idol can do for a singer," Covington said. "People don't realize that when they pick up the phone to vote they're helping to make someone's dream come true."

Covington is currently living in Nashville, TN with his wife Crystal, and is putting the finishing touches on his debut album.  Lyric Street Records, which is part of The Walt Disney Company's Buena Vista Music Group, also released the self-titled debut album of American Idol 2 contestant and former Marine Josh Gracin.