5 Facts About ‘Idol’ Star Heather Russell — Signed By Simon Cowell At Age 10

@heatherrusselofficial / Instagram

Singer Heather Russell recently shared her voice with the American Idol judges on Season 19. The 20-year-old is far from a newbie when it comes to music.

Heather performed judge Katy Perry’s song “Harleys in Hawaii” during her audition. The performance, during which she played piano, was full of runs. Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan praised her voice, but Katy warned her not to have too much “frosting” without the cake.

Heather Russell ended up getting three votes to go to Hollywood. Read on to find out more about her music career, including the time she was signed by Simon Cowell himself.

5 Facts About ‘American Idol’ Star Heather Russell

5. She Comes From A Musical Family

Heather’s parents are both musical, so she’s been involved in music her whole life. She reportedly started writing songs at age six. She and her father even co-wrote the song “Crazy Glue,” performed by former American Idol contestant Jessica Sanchez.

“I knew I wanted to do music at really young age. Everyone in my family is musical,” Heather told Toronto.com in 2018. “My dad (James Russell) was a huge musical influence on me. It was just kind of something I always did.”

4. Heather Posted On YouTube As A Kid

Heather Russell reportedly started posting videos of herself singing on YouTube at age nine. Her videos started to go viral, catching the attention of celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and record producer Rob Fusari.


When Heather was 10 years old, Rob posted a video of Heather singing “Every Step of the Way” with her dad on guitar. The video currently has 1.2 million views on YouTube.

3. She Was Signed By Simon Cowell

Heather’s talent caught the attention of music mogul and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell, who signed her to his label Syco in 2011. “Simon just loved her. He said she was amazingly talented from the first time he saw her,” a representative for Syco said at the time.

“We’re more than excited, but Heather deserves it,” Heather’s mom Monica Cidade said of her signing with Simon. “She is the hardest working ten-year-old I know. She is committed and real.”

2. Heather Has Released Already Albums

Heather’s recording contract with Syco ended in 2012, but she went on to release her debut EP Phases in 2015 with BBOX/Kobalt. Her single “Got This Feeling” had an accompanying music video and was featured on Pretty Little Liars in 2016.


In 2017, Heather signed with Toronto label Gladiator Records. She released the album My Metropolis in 2018. Heather admitted to Medium that she “didn’t really like” her first EP, adding she had “100% artistic say” with her new label.

1. She’s From Canada

Heather Russell is from Toronto. Although she said working in Los Angeles was “amazing,” things were different when she signed to a Canadian label. She said she was “more micromanaged” in LA.

“I think the difference between working in Los Angeles and here, at least for me during my time there,” she told Toronto.com, “I didn’t have as much artistic say with the music I made or the image I got to show to people.”

Now that Heather has her Golden Ticket, we’ll get to see her perform in Hollywood Week. We can’t wait to see more from her!


Jill O'Rourke
Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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