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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 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
202 Allman Brothers Band0001The Allman Brothers Band 2 3
62.0
 
90 43 19.0 0 0 2 0 1
203 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
204 Arie, India0001India.Arie 1 3
73.7
 
78 68 18.0 0 0 0 3 0
205 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
206 Bassey, Shirley0001Shirley Bassey 3 8
80.0
 
92 62 14.5 0 0 0 3 5
207 Beyonce0001Beyoncé 9 12
60.9
 
87 15 17.2 1 0 3 7 1
208 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 6
63.5
 
88 46 18.2 0 0 3 1 2
209 Blondie0001Blondie 1 3
39.3
 
60 11 21.3 1 0 1 1 0
210 Brown, Chris0001Chris Brown 3 3
50.7
 
71 16 15.7 1 0 0 2 0
211 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
212 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
213 Carey, Mariah And Houston, Whitney0001Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston 1 3
62.3
 
70 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
214 Cassidy, Eva0001Eva Cassidy 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
215 Chapman, Tracy0001Tracy Chapman 1 3
74.0
 
90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
216 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 8
61.4
 
87 43 20.1 0 0 4 3 1
217 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
218 Cooke, Sam0001Sam Cooke 3 7
62.4
 
75 45 21.9 0 0 3 4 0
219 Crosby, Bing0001Bing Crosby 1 3
69.3
 
80 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 1
220 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 2 7
47.1
 
82 10 19.0 1 0 4 1 1
221 Dixie Chicks0001The Dixie Chicks 3 4
46.3
 
89 7 16.3 2 0 0 1 1
222 Doors0001The Doors 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
223 Drifters0001The Drifters 3 4
47.0
 
50 43 19.3 0 0 4 0 0
224 Dylan, Bob0001Bob Dylan 3 5
65.6
 
94 17 16.6 1 0 0 3 1
225 Etheridge, Melissa0001Melissa Etheridge 2 8
49.8
 
69 7 19.1 1 0 3 4 0
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