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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
176 Beyonce0001Beyoncé 8 10
64.0
 
87 43 18.2 0 0 3 6 1
177 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
178 Blondie0001Blondie 1 3
39.3
 
60 11 21.3 1 0 1 1 0
179 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
180 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
181 Carey, Mariah And Houston, Whitney0001Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston 1 3
62.3
 
70 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
182 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 4
56.8
 
75 43 27.0 0 0 3 1 0
183 Cassidy, Eva0001Eva Cassidy 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
184 Chapman, Tracy0001Tracy Chapman 1 3
74.0
 
90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
185 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 7
57.7
 
78 43 20.3 0 0 4 3 0
186 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
187 Coldplay0001Coldplay 4 5
57.4
 
78 19 18.4 1 0 0 4 0
188 Cooke, Sam0001Sam Cooke 3 7
62.4
 
75 45 21.9 0 0 3 4 0
189 Crosby, Bing0001Bing Crosby 1 3
69.3
 
80 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 1
190 Cyrus, Miley0001Miley Cyrus 1 3
49.7
 
80 6 15.0 1 0 0 1 1
191 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 1 6
53.3
 
82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
192 Dixie Chicks0001The Dixie Chicks 3 4
46.3
 
89 7 16.3 2 0 0 1 1
193 Drifters0001The Drifters 3 4
47.0
 
50 43 19.3 0 0 4 0 0
194 Dylan, Bob0001Bob Dylan 3 5
65.6
 
94 17 16.6 1 0 0 3 1
195 Etheridge, Melissa0001Melissa Etheridge 2 8
49.8
 
69 7 19.1 1 0 3 4 0
196 Evanescence0001Evanescence 2 3
69.3
 
77 60 22.7 0 0 0 3 0
197 Fitzgerald, Ella0001Ella Fitzgerald 6 10
59.1
 
87 9 17.5 1 0 4 3 2
198 Frampton, Peter0001Peter Frampton 1 3
59.7
 
76 48 17.7 0 0 2 1 0
199 French, Nicki0001Nicki French 1 3
61.3
 
73 54 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
200 Garland, Judy0001Judy Garland 4 12
71.0
 
92 43 18.9 0 0 3 6 3
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