It’s tough to forget baby-faced 19-year-old singer Josiah Leming if you watched American Idol season 7. The teenager failed to make it into the top 24, but his unique musical style coupled with his frequent weeping made him a fan favorite. Leming was traveling the country and living in his car when he appeared on the FOX series, but since then he’s found a place to live and signed a record deal with Warner Brothers’ Reprise records.
Leming’s major-label debut was set to be released in early 2009, but the New York Post is reporting that the folks behind Idol may stop him from releasing the album. The issue lies with that pesky contract that all American Idol hopefuls must sign.
The Post reports that Leming received an official letter from the Idol bigwigs threatening legal action if he puts out his album in January as planned. Though Leming didn’t make it into the top 24, he still had to sign a contract with Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, which only allows him to record with the Sony/BMG label for the immediate future. It used to be that only finalists had to sign the binding contracts, but in recent years its been required for all contestants.
Leming’s rep told the Post that the singer “has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not.” The teen’s mother is dying of cancer, and it’s his goal to get the album out before she passes away.
Idol reps haven’t commented on the story yet, but it’s hard not to side with Leming in this situation. Not only is the kid young, talented and prone to weeping, but he was once homeless and his mother is dying of cancer. Hasn’t he dealt with enough for one lifetime? I know the folks at 19 Entertainment can’t rip up the contract just because they feel sorry for him, but it seems silly to prevent him from releasing his album. In all likelihood, it won’t sell very well anyway, so I doubt Simon Fuller’s company will be missing out on millions in profits.
If Leming does succeed in releasing his album through Warner Brothers, it’ll contain an array of emotionally charged, piano-driven songs that the singer wrote and recorded over the summer. Let’s hope 19 Entertainment allows it to see the light of day.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Source: New York Post
(Image courtesy of FOX)