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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 (3x Performances)

Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Artist #Sng #Prf Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
201 Van Halen0001Van Halen 2 4
36.3
 
67 10 18.8 1 1 1 1 0
202 Westlife And Diana Ross0001Westlife & Diana Ross 1 3
29.3
 
50 14 17.3 1 1 1 0 0
203 Williams, Andy0001Andy Williams 1 3
46.3
 
70 26 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
204 Williams, Robbie0001Robbie Williams 1 3
44.0
 
70 21 17.7 0 1 1 1 0
205 Williams, Vanessa0001Vanessa Williams 2 3
31.7
 
41 16 18.7 1 1 1 0 0
206 Withers, Bill0001Bill Withers 3 8
60.9
 
90 18 18.1 1 1 1 3 2
207 Zombies0001The Zombies 2 3
50.0
 
71 25 21.3 0 1 1 1 0
208 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
209 Adams, Yolanda0001Yolanda Adams 3 3
35.7
 
59 2 15.3 1 0 2 0 0
210 Allman Brothers Band0001The Allman Brothers Band 2 3
62.0
 
90 43 19.0 0 0 2 0 1
211 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
212 Arie, India0001India.Arie 1 3
73.7
 
78 68 18.0 0 0 0 3 0
213 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
214 Bangles0001The Bangles 3 3
39.0
 
67 4 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
215 Bassey, Shirley0001Shirley Bassey 3 8
80.0
 
92 62 14.5 0 0 0 3 5
216 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 6
63.5
 
88 46 18.2 0 0 3 1 2
217 Brown, Chris0001Chris Brown 3 3
50.7
 
71 16 15.7 1 0 0 2 0
218 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
219 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
220 Carey, Mariah And Houston, Whitney0001Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston 1 3
62.3
 
70 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
221 Cassidy, Eva0001Eva Cassidy 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
222 Chapman, Tracy0001Tracy Chapman 1 3
74.0
 
90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
223 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 8
61.4
 
87 43 20.1 0 0 4 3 1
224 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
225 Cooke, Sam0001Sam Cooke 3 7
62.4
 
75 45 21.9 0 0 3 4 0
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