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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
126 Brown, James0001James Brown 1 4
64.8
 
85 24 17.3 0 1 0 1 2
127 Cara, Irene0001Irene Cara 2 5
51.2
 
85 19 17.2 1 1 1 1 1
128 Davis, Sammy0001Sammy Davis, Jr. 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
129 James, Harry0001Harry James 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
130 Joplin, Janis0001Janis Joplin 3 10
59.8
 
85 38 20.2 0 1 5 3 1
131 Raitt, Bonnie0001Bonnie Raitt 3 10
55.8
 
85 9 19.2 1 1 2 4 2
132 Ross, Diana0001Diana Ross 10 18
44.6
 
85 8 15.7 3 5 5 4 1
133 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 6
54.0
 
85 40 18.3 0 0 4 1 1
134 ZZ Top0001ZZ Top 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
135 Adams, Bryan0001Bryan Adams 3 10
51.1
 
84 16 17.8 1 3 1 4 1
136 Adele0001Adele 11 17
50.5
 
84 7 18.8 2 3 6 3 3
137 Blood Sweat And Tears0001Blood, Sweat and Tears 3 4
63.3
 
84 38 19.8 0 1 0 2 1
138 Bush, Kate0001Kate Bush 1 2
82.0
 
84 80 20.5 0 0 0 0 2
139 Calloway, Cab0001Cab Calloway 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
140 Cher0001Cher 3 3
51.0
 
84 23 15.0 0 1 1 0 1
141 Cleveland, Ashley0001Ashley Cleveland 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
142 Dee, Kiki0001Kiki Dee 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
143 Dion, Celine and Bocelli, Andrea0001Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
144 Fleetwood Mac0001Fleetwood Mac 5 9
50.0
 
84 7 18.1 2 1 2 3 1
145 Francis, Connie0001Connie Francis 1 2
45.0
 
84 6 12.5 1 0 0 0 1
146 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
147 Manchester, Melissa0001Melissa Manchester 1 2
58.0
 
84 32 14.0 0 1 0 0 1
148 Maxwell0001Maxwell 1 2
82.0
 
84 80 20.5 0 0 0 0 2
149 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 5 7
48.0
 
84 29 19.4 0 3 2 1 1
150 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
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