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Artists

If you're looking to dispel some persistent American Idol urban legends, forget about Snopes.com or Mythbusters. This section of the WhatNotToSing.com database is the only place to turn.

Let's start by busting the granddaddy myth of all. "Never sing Whitney Houston", the judges and bloggers bleat repeatedly. Never sing Celine Dion, or Mariah Carey, or Aretha Franklin either. Well, maybe. If you click through to each of those artist pages, you'll find somewhat surprisingly that the better Idols have done OK with them (particularly Aretha.) The divas have been harsh mainly on deluded Semifinalists who mistakenly think they can handle the big girls' material.

So are we suggesting that contestants throw caution to the wind and belt out Saving All My Love For You at every turn? Not hardly. For one thing, we don't want hordes of angry Idol fans, their ears bleeding profusely, massing outside our windows with pitchforks and torches. For another, the naysayers are right — sort of. No matter what popular song you choose, you will inevitably be compared to the original artist. If you can't do Whitney justice (and if you could, chances are you'd have been signed to a record deal eons ago), why go out of your way to advertise this fact to 30 million of your closest friends? But, if you can do a decent Whitney cover, don't let some urban legend stop you.

Two artists who've fared considerably less well on Idol are Brian McKnight and LeAnn Rimes. That duo has combined for exactly one performance of 5-stars or 4-stars thus far, out of 20 rated ones total. We consider this no surprise. Most top amateur singers find it easier to pin back their ears and belt out an over-the-top number than to try to match the complex vocal subtleties of more nuanced artists.

[back to top] American Idol  Artists

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# Artist #Sng #Prf Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
51 Washington, Dinah0001Dinah Washington 1 1
90.0
 
90 90 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
52 Withers, Bill0001Bill Withers 3 7
59.0
 
90 18 16.9 1 1 1 2 2
53 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
54 Clarkson, Kelly0001Kelly Clarkson 8 12
39.7
 
89 8 14.3 3 5 1 1 2
55 Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose0001Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
56 Dixie Chicks0001The Dixie Chicks 3 4
46.3
 
89 7 16.3 2 0 0 1 1
57 Franklin, Aretha0001Aretha Franklin 12 30
62.2
 
89 19 16.7 1 4 7 9 9
58 Griffin, Patty0001Patty Griffin 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
59 Heart0001Heart 7 14
56.0
 
89 13 16.9 1 2 4 4 3
60 Paramore0001Paramore 1 2
75.5
 
89 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 1
61 Roxy Music0001Roxy Music 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
62 Twillie, Carmen0001Carmen Twillie 1 2
70.5
 
89 52 25.0 0 0 1 0 1
63 Foghat0001Foghat 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
64 Hathaway, Donny0001Donny Hathaway 4 8
60.5
 
88 29 17.6 0 1 3 3 1
65 Hawkins, Screamin' Jay0001Screamin' Jay Hawkins 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
66 Holliday, Jennifer0001Jennifer Holliday 2 8
66.9
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 2 3
67 Hudson, Jennifer0001Jennifer Hudson 3 8
69.6
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 1 4
68 Ides Of March0001The Ides Of March 1 2
79.0
 
88 70 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
69 Impressions0001The Impressions 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
70 Lawrence, Carol And Kert, Larry0001Carol Lawrence & Larry Kert 2 4
58.8
 
88 23 15.0 0 2 0 0 2
71 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
72 Muldaur, Maria0001Maria Muldaur 1 2
78.5
 
88 69 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
73 Nixon, Marni And Bryant, Jimmy0001Marni Nixon & Jimmy Bryant 2 4
58.8
 
88 23 15.0 0 2 0 0 2
74 Payne, Freda0001Freda Payne 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
75 Radiohead0001Radiohead 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
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