‘American Idol’ Winner Caleb Johnson Looks For New Success with Meat Loaf Tour

Samantha Agate
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Caleb JohnsonFilmMagic

Season 13 American Idol winner Caleb Johnson is embarking on another tour as the lead singer of Meat Loaf’s band, The Neverland Express. The rocker offers his own powerful take on the legendary song catalog with the same energy we saw on television in 2014. Fresh off of the release of his latest album, can Caleb finally make a name for himself in life post-Idol?


Caleb Johnson is Embarking on a Meat Loaf Tribute Tour After Putting Out an Album

Caleb has been one of the American Idol winners that have not found mainstream success just yet. His album Testify was released almost immediately after he won the show. He has outwardly spoken about how getting a recording deal with Interscope was not everything it was cracked out to be.

“After the show, the people working behind the scenes did not have my best interests at heart,” Caleb said in an interview with Glide Magazine. “The year after was a real struggle for me. Unfortunately, I was under a lot of contracts. I couldn’t really do anything because I was locked in.”

When it was announced that Season 15 of American Idol would be the last season, Caleb’s contracts with the show were canceled. The show was revived on ABC in 2018. Caleb was pretty much allowed to start from scratch and rebuild his career.


“Interscope just didn’t believe in [Testify]. They didn’t promote it. They didn’t support it,” he said in 2015. “Honestly, when we released the album, there was no single that was released off the record. There was nothing — I mean, nothing at all.”

Caleb Has Toured with Music Legends After ‘American Idol’

The show did give him enough exposure to go on an arena tour with KISS. He also performed vocals with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. But, we haven’t really heard Caleb’s music a whole lot on the radio or talked about in the media very much. The thing about winning American Idol is, an artist’s level of success will always be compared to someone like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. They both really set the bar for the doors that being on American Idol can open.

Caleb announced the BAT tour on Twitter with a series of tour dates that span all the way into October. Caleb has been singing Meat Loaf’s hits on tour with his band since 2018. In addition to this tour, he will also be performing some outdoor solo shows this summer. His set list will include the entirety of his new album, Mountain Mojo Vol. 1.


Can Caleb Rebrand His Career and Become the Next Adam Lambert?

Caleb even agrees that Testify was a bit of a flop marketing wise. He considers his first album to be Born From Southern Ground. Testify did debut in the top spot on the iTunes Rock chart. It was still not enough to keep Caleb on the map eight years after he won American Idol. We have seen some very successful rock singers come out of the show like Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry. Caleb was never on their level fame-wise but defintiely has the potential to get there.

Lambert is the lead singer of the Queen revival with original members Brian May and Roger Taylor. Queen is one of the most influential rock bands of all time. They handpicked Lambert to be a part of the experience. This is similar to how Meat Loaf passed the torch over to Caleb after years of health struggles. Should Caleb follow in Lambert’s rocker footsteps, he could really find the success he’s been seeking all of these years.

“He is in the top five bracket of my favorite singers of all time, so I think that for them to reach out to me, it’s a massive honor because those songs are not easy to sing at all,” Caleb said about fronting Meat Loaf’s band. “They’re very exhausting, and after you get done with the show, you just want to take a nap. Again, it’s a ‘pinch me’ moment because I was a huge fan of that record. I still am today. I listen to it all the time.”

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