Kellie Pickler Lands Record Deal

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LOS ANGELES (July 17, 2006) — Bubbly blonde “American Idol” finalist Kellie Pickler has landed a record deal with country label BNA Records and 19 Recordings, the label founded by “Idol” creator Simon Fuller.

First up for the 20-year-old North Carolina native, whom “Idol” judge Simon Cowell once deemed a “naughty little minx,” will be a single scheduled for release in September. Her debut album will arrive Nov. 14.

“I’ve always dreamed of getting a record deal, so now my dream has come true!” Pickler said in a statement released Monday by Sony BMG, parent company of the Nashville-based BNA.

Pickler is currently on the “American Idols Live” cross-country tour and “will record the album in between tour dates,” according to the statement.

Her twangy rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” can be heard on the “American Idol: Season Five” compilation CD.

Other “Idol” alums signed to 19 Recordings include fellow season-five finalist Chris Daughtry and past winners Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia and Ruben Studdard.

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