Radio can sell records, but it looks like TV may be the path to a record deal. Both Michael Grimm and Jackie Evancho from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” 2010 season have now signed deals with major record labels.
Grimm, who was the winner of the summer hit series, celebrated by proposing marriage to his girlfriend on “Ellen” and then signed a record deal with Epic. The self-described “blue-eyed soul singer” from Mississippi (but more recently Las Vegas) had already sold several self-produced CDs on his website, but is now planning his first major label release.
Now runner-up Jackie Evancho has signed a record deal with SYCO/Columbia Records – or rather, her parents have signed for her, since she’s only 10 years old. Evancho had also sold one independently-produced CD via her website, of which only 4,000 were made. The rare CDs are now selling for over $200 on EBay. The classical-crossover singer was already well known in her hometown of Pittsburgh and NBC affiliate WPXI-TV closely followed her rise to national fame on the summer reality show.
“Jackie has a rare and precious talent,” said Rob Stringer, Chairman, Columbia/Epic Label Group.
Both Grimm and Evancho are currently on the “America’s Got Talent” live tour, along with the eight other acts from the show’s top 10.
It’s hardly surprising that both singers were signed by labels under the Columbia/Epic umbrella, which is owned by Sony Music. “America’s Got Talent,” like “Britain’s Got Talent,” is a creation of Simon Cowell, whose SYCO label has first shot at signing the finalists, with other Sony labels then second in line. SYCO released “I Dreamed a Dream” by Britain’s Got Talent phenom Susan Boyle, which was the top selling CD of 2009.
RBR-TVBR observation: OK, the singers have been signed, now what about the other two AGT finalists? The final four this year were all extraordinary. We will not be surprised to hear the news when Fighting Gravity gets signed by a Las Vegas casino hoping to challenge Blue Man Group and some other casino realizes that Prince Poppycock is what Sin City has been missing since the passing of Liberace.