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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
576 Potter, Grace and Nocturnals0001Grace Potter and the Nocturnals 2 2
49.5
 
59 40 24.5 0 0 2 0 0
577 Preston, Alex0001Alex Preston 1 1
86.0
 
86 86 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
578 Price, Lloyd0001Lloyd Price 1 1
51.0
 
51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
579 Prince0001Prince 2 2
60.0
 
81 39 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
580 Procol Harum0001Procol Harum 1 1
56.0
 
56 56 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
581 Quietdrive0001Quietdrive 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
582 Radiohead0001Radiohead 1 3
68.0
 
90 28 18.3 0 1 0 0 2
583 Rare Earth0001Rare Earth 2 3
44.7
 
54 32 20.3 0 1 2 0 0
584 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
585 Reed, Jimmy0001Jimmy Reed 1 1
59.0
 
59 59 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
586 Reeves, Julie0001Julie Reeves 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
587 REM0001R.E.M. 1 1
26.0
 
26 26 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
588 Rice, Damien0001Damien Rice 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 20.5 0 0 0 1 1
589 Richie, Lionel0001Lionel Richie 2 4
54.3
 
90 29 19.0 0 1 2 0 1
590 Rival Sons0001Rival Sons 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
591 Rivers, Johnny0001Johnny Rivers 1 2
65.5
 
76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
592 Robinson, Smokey And Miracles0001Smokey Robinson & The Miracles 5 14
58.9
 
87 35 21.2 0 1 8 3 2
593 Rogers, Kenny0001Kenny Rogers 2 3
41.0
 
47 29 21.7 0 1 2 0 0
594 Rogers, Kenny and Parton, Dolly0001Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton 1 2
45.0
 
54 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
595 Ronson, Mark0001Mark Ronson 2 2
60.0
 
66 54 22.0 0 0 1 1 0
596 Ronstadt, Linda0001Linda Ronstadt 4 10
47.8
 
66 34 18.5 0 3 5 2 0
597 Ronstadt, Linda And Ingram, James0001Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
598 Rose Royce0001Rose Royce 1 1
43.0
 
43 43 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
599 Ross, Diana And Richie, Lionel0001Diana Ross & Lionel Richie 1 4
35.5
 
46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
600 Roxy Music0001Roxy Music 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
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