Since making it to the finals of American Idol Season 16, Gabby Barrett has launched an impressive career in country music. Her success proves that people can still make it big after appearing on talent shows.
But as a new piece by the Washington Post points out, her career has also been unusual for the country music genre. Read on to find out why she’s such a special artist.
Gabby Barrett Finds Unique Success In Country
The Post refers to Gabby Barrett as an “anomaly.” Her single “I Hope” has been a huge success, particularly on streaming, where it has broken records. This is apparently unique for country music, which has “lagged behind other genres on streaming platforms.”
In April, “I Hope” made it to the top of the Billboard country streaming chart. It was the first debut single to reach No. 1 on the chart since 2013, and also the first time a female artist topped the chart since the previous year. If you don’t include collaborations or holiday songs, it was reportedly the first time since 2015.
Then in May, Gabby became the first female country artist to get more than 10 million streams in a week. Her album Goldmine was also the most-streamed debut album for a country artist.
It’s also notable that Gabby released the hit song without being signed to a record label. It even caught the attention of pop star Charlie Puth, who reached out to her about recording a duet version.
How Did Gabby Become So Successful After ‘American Idol’?
After placing third on American Idol Season 16, Gabby Barrett joined the show’s tour for finalists. According to the Washington Post, she reached out to previous Idol winner Carrie Underwood for advice about launching her career.
Carrie advised Gabby to go to Nashville and start writing songs, which Barrett ended up doing on her one free day each week. That’s how she wrote “I Hope” and other tracks on her album.
“‘Idol’ was such a huge highlight in my career,” Gabby told the Post. “Even if it’s not the end all be all, it’s a big part of my journey. Two years later, people still message me, saying, ‘I just watched your performance of [Miranda Lambert’s] ‘Little Red Wagon’ on ‘Idol’ and I love it’ … It’s really nice to see people stick with you.”
On Wednesday, Gabby (who is pregnant with her first child with husband and fellow Idol star Cade Foehner) teamed up with Charlie Puth to perform “I Hope” at the 2020 CMA Awards. Check out their performance above.