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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
126 Gaye, Marvin0001Marvin Gaye 4 18
46.3
 
78 11 18.3 3 4 5 6 0
127 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
128 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 2 3
70.0
 
78 55 19.3 0 0 1 2 0
129 Baxter, Les0001Les Baxter 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
130 Cocker, Joe0001Joe Cocker 3 8
59.9
 
77 27 19.0 0 1 2 5 0
131 Diamond, Neil0001Neil Diamond 10 10
43.1
 
77 10 20.1 2 2 3 3 0
132 Hamilton, Roy0001Roy Hamilton 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
133 Hansard, Glen And Marketa Irglova0001Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova 1 3
73.0
 
77 65 23.3 0 0 0 3 0
134 Hibbler, Al0001Al Hibbler 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
135 Lady Gaga0001Lady Gaga 4 7
59.0
 
77 34 19.7 0 2 1 4 0
136 Righteous Brothers0001The Righteous Brothers 2 5
38.4
 
77 5 18.0 2 1 0 2 0
137 Rimes, LeAnn0001LeAnn Rimes 9 16
36.9
 
77 5 19.3 1 9 4 2 0
138 Twain, Shania0001Shania Twain 7 9
46.7
 
77 23 22.7 0 1 7 1 0
139 Weather Girls0001The Weather Girls 1 3
45.3
 
77 12 14.3 1 0 1 1 0
140 Captain And Tennille0001Captain & Tennille 2 4
56.3
 
76 35 18.8 0 1 1 2 0
141 Evanescence0001Evanescence 2 3
69.0
 
76 60 22.7 0 0 0 3 0
142 Frampton, Peter0001Peter Frampton 1 3
59.7
 
76 48 17.7 0 0 2 1 0
143 Gaye, Marvin And Terrell, Tammi0001Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 2 7
54.0
 
76 8 16.1 1 0 3 3 0
144 Police0001The Police 3 7
42.7
 
76 10 19.0 2 2 0 3 0
145 Rihanna0001Rihanna 5 7
45.4
 
76 9 22.1 1 1 3 2 0
146 Urban, Keith0001Keith Urban 5 8
50.4
 
76 25 20.1 0 2 3 3 0
147 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 4
56.8
 
75 43 27.0 0 0 3 1 0
148 Cooke, Sam0001Sam Cooke 3 7
62.6
 
75 46 21.9 0 0 3 4 0
149 LaMontagne, Ray0001Ray LaMontagne 2 4
70.0
 
75 63 18.8 0 0 0 4 0
150 Lauper, Cyndi0001Cyndi Lauper 4 11
48.6
 
75 15 18.1 1 2 4 4 0
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