In the past, fans have had to wait until the fall to get the debut album by the winner of that year's American Idol. But this year, fans of Kree Harrison or Candice Glover -- whoever ends up winning Thursday night -- will be able to get their hands on their music much earlier.
USA Today reports that in an Idol first, fans will be able to order the winner's debut album on iTunes immediately after Thursday's finale, and the album itself will come out in the summer, during the American Idols Live tour. That kicks off June 29, so the winner, whoever she may be, will have a lot of work to do in the studio before then.
The reason Idol winners' debut album have traditionally come out late in the year is that they're not completed until after the grueling tour. Last year's champ Phillip Phillips released his debut in November, as did season six winner Jordin Sparks, season seven winner David Cook , season eight winner Kris Allen and season nine winner Lee DeWyze . Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery 's debut came out in October.
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