Saturday, September 19, 2009

To the Idols: A Realistic look at your career prospects

ETA: A lot of people have asked me why I wrote this blog. Honestly, I didn't realize that it was going to get as much interest as it already has by outsiders. I figured my blog readers would read it and I'd try to pass it on to the other top 10 Idols from this year through some of the guys I'd met from this season. The reason I wrote it is because I genuinely want for the Idols to read it, heed it and do well. Not everyone is trying for a career in the fashion I'm pointing out here...if the Idols want to do Broadway or acting or anything other than being a pop (inclusive of rock, r&b, etc) performer, this article/blog entry isn't for them....but if they are, this article has information I know to be invaluable. Some of it is info that I personally have not had to follow: when I moved to Nashville 8 days after tour ended, I had major management (for my genre) and a record deal basically in place (in the final negotiation stages). I also had a publishing deal in place (the company that got my Flatts' cut) and a booking agent picked out (and each of these cogs in the machine brought money to the table). I used my tour time to put all of these pieces in place. So, I haven't lived every single piece of it...and each situation is going to be different. But the basic premise involved with this article is true: if you work hard, you can and should be successful.

Secondly, this post aims at the top 10 members who have not been signed to 19E. We all know that those who have won or come in 2nd have failed, but they did have all the opportunities in the world coming off of Idol. My post is to the unsigned, lower ranking Idols.

On to the article...

So, American Idol Season 8 is officially finished. Last tour date done. People are moving home and for the next several years will try to move on. I believe that this season of Idol was one of the most talented, but if History repeats itself the majority of these Idols will do nothing in music and will be washes within 3 or 4 years. Not trying to be mean, just being real.

From my season of Idol, Jordin Sparks has an actual career. Blake probably should've but doesn't - though he does have a chance to connect in the dance world with his new music. ETA: I've been told that Melinda's first album was quite critically acclaimed and she is currently writing for her next record - sounds good. Lakisha just had a baby, but not much going on on the music front. Chris Richardson is writing a lot, but hasn't released more than a single so far. Phil has a chance to connect in the Christian market, but nothing is guaranteed. Sanjaya is...well, Sanjaya. Haley is in Texas doing something - not exactly sure if it involves music. Gina is putting together some new music, finally, 2 years later. And then there's me.

ETA: Someone brought up Jared Cotter (went home top 16 night my season) who had a big hit with Jay Sean called "Down". Props to post was focusing on the top 10 of each season, but in reality, this success would put him to the top of our season - plus he has the hosting gig...Jared was one of those that was going to be successful no matter what - he got what Idol was and he got who he was.

If you look at Season 7, the odds are about the same. You've got Cook and Archuletta who are doing reasonably well. Then Castro who is signed to a major label. Michael Johns and Brooke have records out and have seen some chart success. Carly is now the frontwoman for Evanescence part 3.0. And the rest are trying to get something going.

So, how is it that the fat, not-so-great-looking guy who came in 10th place is the 2nd or 3rd most successful from his season and top 5 most successful over Season 6 & 7? The difference is pure drive and ambition and work ethic. I haven't had luck on my side. I haven't had a major label behind me yet (though that is about to happen). I haven't had 19E's help AT ALL. I have simply worked my tail off, been pro-active and worked on becoming better at my craft. Not that other people haven't worked...sure they've worked...but not on the right things in my estimation...and they've had an unrealistic view of what Idol can and will do for them.

Idol does not break new artists. It is a marketing machine for 19E to break their artists. They don't care about the ones who get away unless they make really really good (i.e., Jennifer Hudson and...well, that's it). It may sound cold, but the point of this is to rattle your brain and make you realize what is about to happen in your life.

So, my message to Season 8. You're not going to be successful. You're not going to be millionaires (with the exception of MAYBE Kris and Adam). You are going to struggle. No one will care about you. Those fans who've been asking for your autograph all tour long - 98% of them don't give a flying poo about you once next season of Idol starts. They're not going to buy your album when you put it out 2 years late. Chances are you'll never feel the rush of playing in front 10,000 people who care about you again. Your star is waning and remarkably quickly.

In other words, your days of being a star are over. But that's all right - so are mine. And I'm one of the most successful for my season of Idol. I'm not a star. Chances are I never again will be.

But here's what's awesome. I'm not a star. Few people know my name anymore. But I get to do music for a living. And I make a healthy living doing it. It's hard work. The late nights and early mornings sure do suck after a while. At 31 I wish I didn't have to travel in a van any more. But I did 137 shows last year. And that paid my bills and I even had some left over. And this year I'll do a few more shows than that. And that pays my bills with a little left over. And my writing career is helping me put money away. So...for those of us Idols who few care about any longer, there is hope.

Let me explain what needs to happen for you in the next few months.

First off: surround yourself with people who will be real with you. People who will tell you your music sucks, if it sucks. People who will tell you when you're being an idiot. People who will keep you grounded. But these same people also need to be the people whose shoulder you can cry on, who will encourage you when you do well and who will cheer for you. Your mom and dad are going to think everything you do is great, so they don't count. Get a manager who is someone who knows music and will challenge you when it's not quite good enough. Put together a team that loves you, cares for you...but will kick your butt when it needs to be kicked.

Secondly: Leave home and live WAY below your means. Move to a music city. L.A., New York or Nashville. Move there immediately. Don't wait for a record deal, because chances are you'll never have a record deal. Oh and when you move, get a crappy apartment that is cheap, cheap, cheap. You're not a rock star. You're a wanna be who happens to be more famous than most wanna bes are. Get a part time job with flexible hours that will help pay your bills...your tour savings will fly out of your bank account faster than you realize. $200k or whatever looks like a lot of money until you have to spend it. You need to finance your lifestyle and though a few gigs will pay big bucks most won't. So live WAY below your means. $200k now doesn't mean you will make remotely close to that next year.

Thirdly: Start booking yourself. CAA isn't going to book you. They don't care about you. Your deal with them is only because they have a deal with Idol. They care about the $100k gigs that Adam and Kris are getting right now. You're not going to get those. So, don't keep waiting for CAA to book you. They won't. Period. So, this is what you do: within the next 3 months pick 15 towns or cities within 5 hours of where you are and search the internet for their bar/music venues. Once you've found a couple in each town, pick up the phone and call them. Tell them who you are, tell them you're calling for yourself and that you want to play a show there in the next couple of months. Once you've put together a show in each of those 15 cities, you have yourself a tour. You won't make much money, so do it cheap...if you play an instrument go out solo. If you don't play, take out 1 player who can do what you want to do, and get him to work for cheap. Just so you have an idea, most of the time you should be able to get good players that will start with you for $100-150/show. You need merch to sell. You won't have music product yet - at least not new - so you need to have an array of GREAT t-shirts and gear. Cool designs that incorporate who you are as an artist. Don't get your mom to do the designs. Don't get your friends to make the t-shirts for cheap. Spend tour money on this will pay back in spades. Cool gear = sales = people wearing your name on their chest = building a fan base. Once you've got shows booked and gear, get in a rental car and rock.

Fourthly: learn the freaking music business. Buy a book. Buy several books. Get Donald Passman's book All You Need to Know About the Music Business. Read it 3 times. Some of the info is dated, but it will genuinely help you understand why record labels are hurting and why you probably don't need a record label. Part of learning the music business is figuring out where you fit. I had mainstream major label deals offered, but studied and thought hard and figured out that the place I fit best in Christian music. For you it might be pop (though it should be understood that few artists - even major label artists - start off by jumping into the pop world...they usually start in smaller genre and work their way over to pop) or r&b...but study and figure out where your place is. If you're a white r&b dude, make sure there's a catch...there's already Robin Thicke... how is what you do different? We don't need another Robin Thicke or Justin Timberlake. If you try to be like them you'll always be considered simply a cheap American Idol rip off of said artists. And honestly that is the worst thing you can be - a cheap Idol take on something else.

Fifthly: once you've moved to a music town, find people to jam and write with. You may not be a writer now, but you have a voice and you need to be able to speak with your voice. What does that mean? find people who are better writers than you, write with them, even if it's a matter of you simply finding a melody that fits your voice...oh, and if they write the majority of the song, offer to give them more credit than just the normal 50%. People who know you'll take care of them will work hard to help you be better. At this point that is what you need more than anything else: people who will work hard to make you better.

Sixthly: Work, work, work, work, work. Period. You have to work. Nothing and I do mean nothing is going to be given to you. 19E is not going to come back around. They're done with you. The music business, for the most part, will treat you like an outsider. And they should. You are just a game show contestant who still needs to prove why you should be here. They don't know you've worked for years in clubs or worked as a songwriter or developed your piano skills amazingly - all they know is that you're a game show contestant who is more famous than them for doing nothing other than making it on a tv show. So, go out and prove to them why you belong by working harder than they do to be better.

Seventhly: Get into a studio and get music down asap. Even if it's just an EP. However, walk the wire of finding the balance between getting music out and shooting yourself in the foot. If you don't have the songs, don't record music just to have it. You will kill your career. But, on the other hand, you need to get music out asap. So...write good songs or find good songs quickly.

Eighthly: Be proactive. I've said it before, but it's important to get: nothing is going to be given to you. If you get a record deal now, you deserve it. Why? Because you will have had to work for it. You will have gotten it because you worked not because Idol worked. this is about you, now. You have the power to be successful. You are talented. You have a skill set that should be shared with the world. But you have to seize the reins of your career and do something with your skills.

ETA: I saw this somewhere else and knew my post was missing something -

Ninthly (and finally): Freaking love what you do. When you don't love this anymore, when the pain of travel and the hurt from non-success hurts more than the joy you feel when you rock people live, quit. Go get a "real job". Love what you do. Do what you love. Period.


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Carmen said...

Very good advice. Hopefully some of the other Idols will have a chance to read your blog and ponder your words of wisdom.

I have to agree with you Chris, that your success has come from working your butt off. You have also been very wise with handling your money. Living below your means is advice all of us can benefit from. You never know when the hard times will come so it is always good to put the extra away during the good times. Now if we could only get our politicians to do the same! LOL

Chris, I also believe you have been successful because you have kept it real and not let the whole idol thing get to you. Having Sarah in your life has defintely kept you grounded. Plus you have done your homework when it comes to the music business.

I am glad that you are living your dream of doing what you love for a living-- playing music.

Here's wishing that you will always be able to do what you love for many, many years to come.


risalea said...

Well said, Chris, but I'd add one more paragraph.

Ninthly (ninthly?): Cultivate those 2% of your fans who stick around even when the next season of Idol gets going. Appreciate their out of the ordinary efforts to see you play and to promote your work. Start a blog and give them a chance to connect with you and with each other. From that beginning, you can expand your fanbase over time, and most importantly, make some lifelong friends who'll have your back, no matter what. It can be a lifechanging experience for them and even for you.
; )
Signed-A Proud Member of the 2%

Audra said...

Very well said. Good advice for anyone trying to achieve any dream.

Ronni Hall said...

And this is why I've loved and prayed for you since the old days. God sees it and will prosper it...

Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

Excellent post, Chris. I hope all of the contestants read it.

Carmen said...

Well said Risa! I thought the same thing but just din't know how to put it into words. You did it perfectly!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog post Chris. Good advice is always welcome.

onassignment said...

Well said, Chris. If the Idols can push past all the hype and the smoke and the mirrors, decide who they are and what they want to accomplish, they will focus on their goals, and work, work, work.
God bless you for sharing your 'aquired through experienc' wisdom. May others take advantage of the gift you have offered them.

Juliana said...

Chris this is GREAT advice to the idols. Everybody assumes that everyone from the season is gonna make it big(including that Annonymous poster apparently) but chances are that most of the people won't be more than just a past contestant on AI.
I do believe that Adam and Kris will be the exception though.

Anonymous said...

Before I begin let me first say that I completly respect you as an artist. I also liked that you took the time to give advice to these kids. You do know a lot about the industry so hopefully they will listen up.

However, I am a little offended by the way you threw the other Idols out like that. I really don't understand your defination of "an actual career". To say that Melinda is "not doing much" is completly false. If you're talking album and ticket sales, then perhaps you're right- she's not as successful. However, she has between three-four events every week, working her tail off. You aren't the only hard worker! I don't know much about the others but I do know they are working just as hard, especially Gina and Phil.

As far as Season 7, I am constantly amazed by how well each of them are doing.

You are working hard and I am proud of you for that, but so is everyone else....and they are successful in their own way.

Adam said...

I'm sorry Chris but your no where near as successful as you think you are.

This is the first time I have heard about you (on anywhere else for that matter since season 6 where as I have heard a great deal more from Melinda, Jason, Brooke, Micheal, Jordan, Carly, David and David. Hell I have seen more of Sanjaya than you plus didn't Sanjaya just get a 100,000 advance on book deal to write his memoir?

Your arrogance is off putting and I think you need a bit of a reality check.

jake said...

oh come on adam kris danny and allison will be sucessful

megan will get a reacord deal maybe

the other 5 are screwed

and yes chris sligh is the 2nd best idol from season 6

NolaMar said...

This is absolutely fabulous Chris! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for telling it like it is!! The best line of all:

"Idol does not break new artists. It is a marketing machine for 19E to break their artists. They don't care about the ones who get away unless they make really really good (i.e., Jennifer Hudson and...well, that's it.

Last season was my last. I have vowed to never watch it again. Just can't take that money machine any more no matter how much I enjoy watching the talent. It is exactly for the reason I quoted above. They are there only to promote those they can make millions off of and throw the rest under the bus.

(BTW I thought you were great on Idol and voted for you until you left.)

Anonymous said...

Chris, I've heard about you mostly on MJs blog but I had never read your blog.
I really liked this post. You said it just like it is. You are being a friend to these idols.
It's great how much you have done since your idol days.

I see that many contestants leave the idol stage with big dreams and they think just cause they were on the most watched television show they'll have it easier. But no, it doesn't happen that way. Be smart, listen to others who have gone through it.
After 8 seasons of idol there are many people out there who can tell you how hard it is.
Don't take anything for granted.

And this goes for those signed too. I don't follow the idols that close, like I said, I mostly read MJs and the headlines. But from what I've read of how David Cook has been approaching his career I'd recommed Kris to look at David and do it like him. Don't expect things to come to you. Try getting new fans. Go there, go to their towns, play for them. Travel. Sweat. Just cause you won don't try going big in one second. You have to build a career, and for that you have to make a connection with people. Keep your idol fans but also reach for others. Be pto-active, don't expect other to do the job for you, cause they won't.
Like someone said, keep contact with your fans. Blogs and Vlogs are great. Fans like to know if you're working on music, throw them a few bones now and then.

Good luck to all of them. And good luck to you.

Yaara said...

Hey Chris,
Great blog post. I find it fascinating to hear what really goes on with everyone not in the top 2 of Idol after the tour is over. I imagined a lot of hard work is required to make it, but this really gives me a proper clue of what it entails.
Now one can only hope these people read this blog and take your advice. Some people are too arrogant and just need to do things their own way...

Oh, and since this is the first time I've read and commented on your blogs, I'll also add that I love "Here Comes Goodbye", and great job with that one! I saw Rascal Flatts in concert in Camden, NJ on Sept 11th and that song was really awesome live and was received really well by the audience :)

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you were still around. However, you gave good advice.
I think Kris, Allison and Adam are going to be major music stars, because their talent is so "major". I don't think Gokey, Sarver, Matt, Scott, Megan (unless it is modeling/acting) and Lil will still be in the business in a few years. Unless it is the playing in real small venues like you evidently do.
I know I and my friends will remain fans of Kris, Allison and Adam, because they have really touch us with their talent and charisma.

Cathy Storms said...

Great advice Chris. And I so agree with Risa. Cultivating those 2 percent who will always have your back is major. Those 2 percent will keep you in the spotlight for years to come. Yes they will expand your fan base for years.

Signed another one of those lucky 2 percent.

Anonymous said...

Great advice! Although I'm a complete outsider and know nothing about the music business, as a fan, a grown-up fan, I totally agree with you.

I started watch AI from your season, yes, I still remember you even though I am not your fan. Yes, I used to be Blake's fan, big fan at the time, I did not buy his record, I do not even care about him much now. For being a member of the music business, if you disappear (means there's no news about you) for just...let's say, a couple of weeks, people will begin to forget about you, assume that you have never existed. Yes, there is still that 2% of fans, and thus all the Idols should be really appreciate those 2%, but they still need to work hard to keep that 2%, too.

Well, I am a huge fan of Adam this season, although I have to say I am not as hype right now as I was when the show was on. I still agree with Chris, and I think some other claimed to be offended anonymous are just being immatured. I can't blame them because "love is blind," but a reality check is essential.

Yes, Adam, Kris, Danny and Allison got their record deals; however, this is their one shot chance to show what they have and why they should be in this music business. If their album sales suck, they will be dropped and never to be heard again. This is just the reality. At this moment, their fans including myself are still hyped and super supportative, and swear we will love them forever, but once next season is on, or any new artist that grab our attention, there will be a whole new story. As we can see, now there are a lot of fans have gazillion of favorite artists, they will not stick around, they will not support each and every one of those "current" favorites forever, let's just get real! Even as for me, I am someone that only have or support just 1 favorite, or maybe 2 favorites (they would be completely different types or from different countries though) at the time, I still can't guarantee that I will stick with one favorites (although I do have a long time favorite artist (not Idols, he's a Japanese artist), and yes, it's a lifechanging experience!)

As for Idols, I have to say not every fan, especially picky or grown-up fans like me, do not just "watch" music, if their albums are not good, even if that's Adam, even if he's my super favorite, I wouldn't spend a dime on it. Less is more, I just want simply amazing music, gimmicks are not needed. Period.

I am still a big fan of Adam now, but only Adam can prove that he deserves all the ongoing love and support from us.

Anonymous said...

Ok to all the anon people posting who are whining about what Chris wrote, be honest with yourselves. Chris clearly is one of the more successful ones. His album has sold 15,000 copies, which for an Indie artist is pretty dang good, and has had several big Christian radio singles.

He never insulted Allison or the other season 8ers. Kris, Adam, and Allison will be fine. The rest, not so much. Be honest, how many former Idols have we honestly heard from?

Season 7 - Cook and Archie are doing great, that is to be expected. Jason is gonna be fine too as is Brooke, she did everything that Chris was talking about. Michael, well...first off I'm a HUGE Michael fan, one of the 2% but his album flopped big time. The rest are history.

Season 6 - Chris clearly is one of the most successful; Jordin had a couple of hits but her new album tanked. Blake...well need I say anything? Aside from that...Chris is the only one getting hits on th radio and touring constantly. Phil might break into CCM though.

Face it, Chris is right.

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes for the lesser talents like yourself, one has to know when to get back to the real world and give it up."

Why should he do that when he has hit Christian radio singles? Why should he do that when he clearly has stated it makes him a living? Did you bother to read?

Anonymous said...

Chris you gave excellent advice. I'm not sure where you stand on the Top of the Success ladder, but if you feel you are the 3rd most successful in your season that's cool. And no offense, but your season was one of the worst seasons of American Idol, coming in only second to Season 3.

So your reality check to season 8 contestants is excellent, especially because of all the talent to come out of that Matt, Allison, Danny and on a lesser level Scott and Anoop. I do see Scott successful in hotels and the like, but that's not a bad thing. Danny and Allison have been signed to major labels actually.

I whole heartedly agree with you about E19 and CAA not caring about their contestants.

But a few points I would like to make. Phil Stacey tours a lot. So I'd say he's had a modicum of success. Same for Bucky Covington and Kelly Pickler in their season. Josh Gracin is another one. Oh and Constantine Maroulis was nominated for a Tony for his gig in Rock of Ages.

Now as for forgetting the Idol singer if they release a CD in 2 years, unfortunately for the most part you are right. However...I did buy Constantine Maroulis' CD when it came out. It WOULD HAVE BEEN successful had he promoted it in cities outside the Eastern seaboard. It was one of the best, IMO to come out of Idol.

Now Jason Castro, signed to Atlantic, will release his CD in November. It's a fabulous CD, if I go by the cuts I've heard and the live performances he did in Los Angeles, where he now lives (see he took your advice). opinion on your blog...but you did give great advice to all.

Best of luck to you. I am Jewish and therefore, Christian music does not appeal to me. I did like you on American Idol, however, and I wish you would have tried to have gone more mainstream, but it is after all your life and therefore, your choice.

Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Oh sorry...same person here as that very long response...I forgot to mention KRIS ALLEN, when I mentioned the talent coming out of Season 8. But Kris is and I hope he is successful as well.

Anonymous said...

You left out Adam also as a great talent coming out of season 8. The crowds at the concerts sure seemed to think he was a great talent.

ChrisSligh said...

Wow...didn't expect this kinda response.

First off...if you didn't notice: I said "I am not a star". I'm okay with that. I'm not busting on anyone's favorite...Melinda and Sanjaya and everyone else are awesome. They just haven not seen a lot of success in the music business. I know Melinda is working on a new album and I truly honestly hope that it blows up. But as a nobody artist I've sold more records than Melinda, Michael Johns, Brooke White, Ace Young, and several more Idols that honestly are better looking, probably more talented and are great people. The point of my post is NOT how much cooler or better I am...b/c that has nothing to do with it. The point is that everyone works hard...but there is a reason why the fat & ugly guy from Season 6 has been more successful than others.

To focus on 1 paragraph is so typical dumb American Idol fan. Get over yourself and your favorite and realize the heart of this post has nothing to do with me. When you're writing a self-help post (which is what this was) you have to give a background as to why you have the right to say something. My right to speak is that because of hard work and focusing on the right the right things, I have seen success that no one else would've predicted for me. Am I a superstah! LOL No - of course not. If you actually finished reading the post you see I say that several times...

So, Idol fans, take your goggles off and pull your head out of the ground...chances are your favorite will follow all the other Idols into relative obscurity. Especially if they don't ever read this or something like this.

So...any posts that are disrespectful or just plain stupid will be removed.

Thanks for stopping by the blog! We have a cool little community here.


Anonymous said...

You didn't really go into the unique details regardig Adam. I think he is definitely the exception here. He is multi-talented, and has a huge international fan base already. And, no, not a cult following as suggested by a few. He has already paid a lot of dues, and has repeatedly said in interviews how he views the realistic side of the music biz. I think his advice is very similar to yours, and the other talents from this season seem to be listening.

You do have an awesome voice and I wish you all the success you work so hard for. Sounds frustrating - I'm glad I'm a 9-5er M-F. Sometimes boring, but reliable $$ -enough that I can support my all-time favorite ADAM and a few others.

I'm seriously worried about Anoop and Matt - who got a lot of attention during the tour, but who I quickly forgot about 10 seconds after their set was over. I think they fall into the category you are talking about.

risalea said...

Chris, I think the comments come from Google Alert blowing up and it was featured over on MJ's. I myself tweeted the link to a couple of my faves from this season who don't have a record deal. I'm not worried about Kris Allen...he's got his deal in place, and he's very down to earth and hasn't let this all go to his head. And there's the key.

Let's hope the kids pay attention to someone who's "been there, done that, bought the T-shirt."

Katherine said...

Chris, thanks for the sound advice. I do think a lot of people, including some of the current S7 and S8 contestants trying to make it in the business.

I was (still am) a big David Cook fan and followed many of the alumni from that season, an have to had expectations readjusted. I'm not sure if it's possible to have another instant mega-star come out of Idol. 19 is trying really, really, really hard right now with Adam Lambert (so much to the point where they're more than willing to diss all other Idol alumni in order to prop him up, and the media jas jumped on board, too) but I think the reality is that from this point on anyone with potential has got to take what they have and work their butt off to maintain it.

Anyone coming off from Idol S8 is just a reality TV star at this point. Until the music comes out and we see where they fall, they're not in a position to give anyone else advice. Lambert's fans may love him now, but as soon as the tour remains a distant memory and/or they don't like his actual output, they'll be quick to move on. I think some fans of that particular contestant may have a hard reality check when they figure he has to work his way up just like everyone else. He's not going to be excused from inane interviews, festivals, playing in small venues, doing radio tours, or any of the stuff that the kids trying to break in have to do. And the same goes for anyone from the current season.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are still hanging in there. Had not heard anything about you in a long time. Sounds like you are doing well. I know your advice is from experience and the heart.
I am already worrying about Matt, Anoop, Lil, Megan, Scott, Danny and poor old Michael (he tries so hard, bless him). I want them to have as good a chance at a career as Kris, Adam and Allison.

cc1228 said...

Thanks Chis for having the guts and honesty to say what I'm sure most of those that have gone through the Idol experience have wanted to say.
Your exactly right! It really takes a mature and grounded individual to get through the rejection and up hill struggle after their Idol time.

I've only watched a few Idol seasons, 2,5, 7 & 8 all the way through and those contestants that were those things, and have done the things you mentioned, have, or are making it happen.
I'm a huge Jason Castro fan, and he's done almost everything you've listed and in that order. I think both of your faiths, and belief in God play a huge part as well. Your both grounded, have great people around you, and know what's ultimately important in life.

Keep up the good work!

Vincent said...

Actually, to the one who said Chris' album sold 15,000, his album has actually sold a minimum of 41,000 when including sales from Christian retailers or whatever they're called.

And Chris is right that he is one of the Top 5 most successful from Seasons 6-7 and I'm not even a fan of his. An objective person can see this.

His post is very well thought out and shows how intelligent and hard-working he is.

FolkFan said...

I hope that all of the Season 8'ers read this---especially those without a record deal---and that it gets passed around to the Season 9'ers when the right time hits.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to mjsbigblog I was alerted to this post. Very interesting post - I enjoy learning about what your experience has been, what you've learned, and it does feel like you're offering this to be helpful to the Season 8 Idols. Lots of your advice can translate well into any of our career efforts - so good advice to all really.

This AI season I enjoyed Kris and Adam. Last Season I especially enjoyed Cook and Jason. Your season, 6, was the first I watched and you were definitely one of my favorites.

I'm glad this reminded me of you because I will be coming back around to learn more about what you're doing currently. (looking for the website, returning to this blog, finding you on twitter)

I wish you the best!

rosalee said...

A good read. I agree that your “drive, ambition and work ethic” is key to your success. That 2008 radio & tv tour was a smart move, to get your name out there and make friends/connections with the station personnel. It also prepared you for grueling tour travel to come. You perform even if you are sick. This is a testament to your determination to succeed.

“Living below one’s means” is also good advice. As you have done, the money can be saved, or invested back into the business (used towards tour merchandise (marketing), new recording equipment, etc).

Your final point, be proactive, sums up all of your other points (learning the music business, booking yourself, writing with others, etc.). Nothing is going to be handed to them.

You are also correct in advising the Idols to get a quality EP or CD out early (before they are completely forgotten).

Calling them “game show contestants” is blunt, but to the point. American Idol gives them immediate exposure, but they have to consistently prove themselves in order to make it in the music business. I hope they take your advice and work hard at their craft in order to obtain at least a modicum of success.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris!
I found your blog through Rickey's Twitter.
I read the title and I was like huh?
Then I was like wait I gotta read it.

You are so right, all of it! Great, perfect advice.
In the AI goldfish bowl, it's easy for the "idols" to buy into their own hype and think that everyone is their fan (in and outside of AI fandom) and will always be there showering them w/gift bags, balloons, flowers, hugs, so on and so forth. Well at least until next season.

Ahh but the real world hits and it hits HARD.

Can ya tell I was at at least ONE tour? lol
Being a season tour 7 groupie I remember it fondly. My fav shall remain nameless. OK ok I am part of the dreaded crew, but I digress.

I think surrounding yourself w/people who care about you and are also HONEST and unbiased is so very important.
If everyone is telling you that everything you do, write, sing is PERFECT, magic, platinum, even when YOU know it's not well I'd think that would be really annoying.
Not to mention harmful to your career.
Everyone needs a reality check!
Are fans allowed to not love everything you do too?

As long as the music you make is who you are, you work as hard as you can w/o stepping on others along the way, giving credit where credit is due, and you are able to stay grounded along the way, well what more can you ask for?

Oh and pay the bills? well heck that is just awesome!

Great blog Chris!

ChrisSligh said...

Thanks Vincent. Actually we're at a little over 60k now in units sold.


Anonymous said...

People may put down Christian music careers, but Chris with thos type of sales you have the last laugh.
This is why I think Gokey should have gone Christian music rather than county music. I don't see him having a long term country music career, but he could have done that with Christian music. Too bad he didn't talk to you first rather than signing with a country music label.

Anonymous said...

"Your season, 6, was the first I watched and you were definitely one of my favorites."

I just posted that above at 1:40.

When I think about it had I heard more of you, you would have easily been my favorite! It was fun cheering Melinda, LaKesha and Jordin, but I haven't bought any of their music.

And now as I said, I'm going back to look for what you're doing currently - and I may just buy some of your music!

Gerb said...

Excellent post. Hard work and improving your craft applies to anyone who has a dream to achieve. Those who get it will listen.

Anonymous said...

I really hope Anoop gets a record deal soon. His voice is a lot better than what he is given credit for!

Melinda said...

Wow. Great blog, Chris.

I'm a huge fan of Jason Castro and have chosen to take an active role in his career by joining his street team in a leadership capacity and I, along with two of my closest friends, run a popular fansite for him.

We followed Jason closely after the Idol tour. Patiently waiting for any news of an impending album or record deal and watching helplessly as many of the AI fans who rallied behind him during the show and tour started to fall by the wayside. I knew that many more would follow when Season 8 began, and sadly, they have.

Honestly, I've watched AI since Season 2, but Jason was the first who inspired me enough to become this involved...and that show has introduced us to some phenomenal talent. That being said, I was a little surprised that so many jumped ship. I guess I was just ignorant to the realities of the AI fandom. When it comes down to it, most AI fans are just that...AI fans.

I worried about Jason for a long time. There was no news for so long, and his fans were leaving. Just when it was starting to look hopeless, he announced he had been signed to Atlantic Records.

Jason, though signed, will still have to work hard to grow his fanbase. So many have left or are just so out of the loop that they're not even aware that he's signed or that he's currently on the road promoting his upcoming album. It is encouraging, however, to see how new listeners are responding to his music. I think he'll be fine.

I have a point. LOL.

Risalea hit the nail on the head with her comment. Those of us who stuck by Jason, did so because he kept us connected. Video blogs were huge for him, and now he's using Twitter as a means to stay connected. He gave our fansite an exclusive Q&A during a time when he was at his busiest, and recently, he acknowledged me personally with an unsolicited hug at a stop on his radio tour. Little things like that go a long, long way. The need to feel appreciated for your efforts is human nature, and your fans will stick by you for it.

"Surround yourself with people who will be real with you..."

Amen. And this, in my opinion, includes the fans. They are, after all, the people who will be buying it, so listen to what they have to say. Constructive criticism is meant to be helpful, not hurtful, and while it may not be what you want to hear, it is what you need to hear. You'll never grow as an artist by listening only to those who kiss your ass. The fans who are still behind you, supporting you after Season 9 is well underway...well, those are the true blue. They want to see you do well. Cherish them. Listen to them, and let them know they are appreciated. Their encouragement will get you through the low spots, and their constructive criticism will make you a better artist.

I didn't realize I had so much to say. LOL. Sorry about that. =)

carol said...

Chris, I really liked you on your season. You made me laugh when you said your goal was to make David Hasselhoff cry *yes, sad that I remember that huh*

I started reading your blog and at first was struck by what I saw as your arrogance and seemingly large ego. I laughed at you quite honestly.

But then I kept reading and realized that you were giving sound and sage advice to the contestants who don't have record deals. Contestants like Matt, Anoop, Megan, Lil etc. And everything you said was spot on.

19 doesn't care about them. Probably never cared about them. The fans, the few who followed them, will have forgotten them by the start of season 9 and whatever hopes and dreams they have a being the next (whoever) will fade quickly.

That said, your attitude in calling American Idolf fans "dumb" doesn't speak well IMO of your Christian faith. Let's be honest for a minute Chris, were it not FOR American Idol you'd be a nobody. Hell, you're still kind of a nobody but at least you're one whose blog people seem to read and who apparently had a top 10 hit on Christian radio and co-wrote a song for a big country group.

American Idol is a platform to get yourself out there. What each artist chooses to do with that platform is up to them. You clearly made the most of your top 10 finish on Idol and you are to be commended for that.

Hopefully, if one of the others' finds success, however small, they will have done so by perhaps following some of your advise.

Maybe you should hold a tutorial for Idol contestants... you could be the Tony Robbins of cast of Idols LOL.

truedat said...

Chris is very wise and risalea is right, add onto that "cultivate those fans who do stick around".

Michael Johns still has a hard road to travel but he is working his butt off, following along most of Chris's guidelines. He took a risk with the album though it was actually well received by many music critics - I don't recall seeing any out and out this sucks kind of review.

The first single, even with a good pedigree, written by James Morrison and John Shanks, has been slow to get radio play and without a radio hit even a great album with major label support, let alone an indy release, won't go very far especially for a new artist. But he is not giving up and I feel confident he is happy to be able to perform and just make a living and that is what he will accomplish. He has already done some soundtrack work which was also well received. And when you work hard at something you love, you are more likely to hit that lucky break that maybe transports you to the next level. You won't get there if you don't hustle. Unless you are the daughter of hotel magnate or something.

Heather said...

This is fabulous. You are so right. Me, as a tv viewer and huge Idol fan, agrees with everything you said. It's clear as day on our side of the Idol machine that you need to to that. I never understood why the Idols live in the clouds. Espicially now that it's Season 9, history repeats it self. It kills me to see some of the talent go to waste. Why someone like Chris Rich never moved to LA or Nashville to make his career work is beyond me. There isn't any work in Virginia. I remember all the big talk from him after the show and nothing ever happened. The only successful Idols either work EXTREMELY hard, or just go super lucky.

Also I feel for the winners and runner-ups, with the huge deals, but with no business sense. I mean everyone can learn from all that crap Blake went though. He needed to take control of the reigns and not let them walk all over him business wise, and he knows that now. It took him a year to shake off all the mistakes and problems and start over properly. Hopefully he can have success he deserves with his new album. I hate that they just go through the motions if they win or become a runner up. It's still your career, and you need to make sure it works out the way you want. Major deal or not it can be over in 6 months. They chew you up and spit you out these days like with Phil and Kristy Lee Cook, they don't care about you. They give you processed pre-written crap and throw you at the wall and hope you stick. Obviously in 6 months, the same thing will happen to Danny Gokey.

Anyways, thank you for this. I haven't read through your blog in a long while. I wish you the best! Keep on working hard!


Vincent said...

Thanks for the clarification of your album sales, Chris. I know my number wasn't up to date because it came from the end of December last year.

I don't think Kris will be a millionaire. By comparing him with label mate Archuleta, who had a huge hit single and I'm not going to list more as I will be accused of being a fantard, I believe that Kris' album will debut with less than 100K with the label pushing it towards 500K (Gold) because any less would make 19E laughable.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff here Chris.

Kris and Adam are awesome; both musically exciting, genuine, loyal, funny, charming with a good head on their shoulders. But I also hope all the others find success and happiness.

Anonymous said...

Good advice....but i think this applies to every idol in season 8 EXCEPT ADAM!!!

Anonymous said...

whenever i think about season 6 i think Chris is one of the most successful from that season

Anonymous said...

Oh, PLEASE, you Adam fanatics are everywhere. Once all his hype dies down and you people see the "real" Adam, I doubt if any of you will be so "fanatical". This guy on his blog gave his honest opinion, he's been there and done it, and all you one sided weirdos who think Madame Lamebert is God's gift to the world jump all over it like Chris took a cut at Jesus Christ himself. I wish you would all go away, I'd pay to see Chris Sligh in concert, and I'd also pay to have that creep Adam Lambert go away, with his obnoxious fans with him. UGGGG

DJ in AL said...

Well holy crap and all that, dude, look at all these fans coming out of the woodwork, excellent, WTH ya'll been? We've been right here!!

Great post and if any of the ex-Idols can get through it without being all defensive and thinking WTH does Chris Sligh think he is, they might learn how to navigate the cold hard world that is the music business. You've been frighteningly honest, it's real cold and lonely after you get out from under the security blanket that you are wrapped up in while you are in the clutches of the machine that is AI. No one knows better what this reality looks like, you have lived it for the past 2 years, and the 2% of your fanbase that has followed you all over the country, bought your records, called our radio stations, followed your blog and sang your praises have lived it right along with you cause you've taken us along. We don't tell you when you suck, because, well it's not our job. Our job is to love and support you, pray for you, pick you up when you need a ride, book you through our civic organizations and make sure you have clean socks and snacks on the road. We got your back when critics don't get you, chase away the anons that come to our blog community to make trouble, and unfortunately wear the label of fantard from time to time, it comes with the territory. For the job your core fans, (though we prefer to be called friends) do, well I'll be honest the pay sucks but the fringe benefits are awesome and can't be measured with dollars.

Ex-Idols, listen up, the man knows of what he speaks, he's been there, done that. And he's got lots of witnesses.

ChrisSligh said...

Thanks to those who may disagree with certain aspects of what I had to say but were respectful in disagreeing.

As far as calling someone the typical "dumb" American Idol fan it was meant to descibe the typical dumb fantard...not the typical Idol fan.

And finally...Michael Johns & Brooke White are bigger stars than I for sure but neither have had the same level of success that I have. They've sold fewer records had no Billboard hits nor written Billboard hits...I'm fans of both and they both have the potential to sell much much more than I have or will... But to this point they have not. Hope that explains more of how I'm describing "success". So when I say top 5 for Seasons 6&7 it isn't patting myself on the back or being a's purely objective.


Anonymous said...

Chris, my apologies for stating that you had only sold 15k albums, majorly my bad, I'm a big fan and didn't mean that as an insult. Count me as 1 of 61 thousand copies sold haha.

In Brooke's defense, she will probably reach those totals at some point, she actually seems to have gotten a pretty good deal for an indie artist. Your entry was so spot on though!

DJ in AL said...

Anon 3:51 Gotta tell ya, almost every thing you said can be disputed and then backed up by facts. Come and make your argument, try to do it without being rude if you can but back your opinion up with actual truth.

Christian music most definitely can equal success, the Michael W. Smith's of the world prove that.

Arrogant? Seriously? Um, Just no.

And Christian music not only CAN rock but it DOES rock and Chris most definitely rocks it!

ChrisSligh said...


I took your post as very kind to begin with...thanks fir stopping by!


gdahimself said...

Anonymous 3:51 PM ,

Success in Christian music does mean Success, while admittedly not mainstream mega-success.
Any arrogance I’ve seen so far has come from some anonymous posters.
As our host hasn’t made any comment remotely unkind or uncharitable about any of the American Idol contestant beyond his better informed opinion, not prophesy, of their possible future success and what action to take NOW, I fail to find anything remotely un-Christ like.

Rocked means different things to different people, your opinion isn’t shared by the majority.

I trust your afternoon proceeds agreeably.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even know your blog existed haha so I think I'm actually gonna stick around. Keep up the awesome music!

Anonymous said...

Chris why did you not mention that you were dropped from your label just like blake was and right now you are not even on a label

DJ in AL said...

Anon 4:23, Chris has been very honest about not being signed, if you read any of his posts you'd know that! You clearly didn't get understand the whole meaning of this post.

DJ in AL said...

Rally-welcome to the blog! It's not usually this controversial but it's always honest!

gdahimself said...

"Anonymous 4:23 PM,

If you were a regular reader, you would know it was by mutual decision over unsolved artistic differences, which was posted.

A new label signing is pending.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Chris!

Even those signed to recording contracts already - heed Chris' advice. You will HAVE TO continue to to work your fanny off. Your label will not MAKE YOU. You have to make yourself.

Anonymous said...

Wow its been awhile since we've had this much discussion from such a wide range of people on Chris's blog. When I saw 60 comments i thought this post must have been from about a week ago, then I saw it was today and got really shocked. We'll see what happens with Adam, his career prospects rely soley on how well his album is recieved by the general public.

Great honest post Chris! Now that you're moving to a major label, I expect you'll sell even more than 60k copies of your next album. And definatly sell more than 4,100 in the first week. This "heatseeker(billboard chart title) is no longer!

ChrisSligh said...

I didn't mention being dropped b/c I wasn't dropped. I asked out of my record deal & they allowed me to leave. I'm in the middle of finishing details on a deal with a major label.


powerhouse said...

@Anon 3:49

Has it occurred to you that Adam "fanatics" are everywhere because Adam has a lot of fans?

The Adam "hype" is never going away and never "dying down." The fact of the matter is, Adam will probably be the most successful person to come out of American Idol. He was already on the cover of Rolling Stone, is making a song for the 2012 movie, and has one of the most anticipated albums coming out in November.

Also, do tell us who the "real" Adam is. I love how you have some sort of secret insight and knowledge that millions of others seem to lack. Tell us how you do it!

You wishing we'd all go away is a good indicator that we won't, and that Adam's popularity will only increase and not die down. As much as you hate us, it's easy to tell that you know we're going to be around for a long time, and that really annoys you.

What makes us creepy? The fact that we continue to strongly support a musical artist even after American Idol has ended? What Chris has talked about in the majority of his post is true for most of the other Idol contestants, and I thank him for making the exception for Adam and Kris. Even the man you're supporting with your comment is saying the opposite of what you want to hear - that Adam will be successful.

What makes Adam creepy? The fact that he has dyed black hair, and black eyeliner? The fact that he doesn't apologize to the ignorant brainwashed religious nuts of America for being gay? Oh no, someone who doesn't look or act like everyone else, however will you deal with the differences in the world?

BTW, I agree with basically everything Chris has to say in his blog post! I was a fan of Chris when he was on Idol and followed him for a little while after.

DJ in AL said...

Anon 3:49, now THAT'S how you argue a point. Well done for expressing your point of view without being rude.

As for Adam, he's an entertainer to be sure and I think he'll be one of the very few who will make a living doing what he loves. He will need fans like you to get there and then stay there.

DJ in AL said...

Correction, my post was for Powerhouse not Anon. Powerhouse good job at making your point respectfully.

Anonymous said...

Chris you are right about the "rose colored glasses" and fans focusing and whining about the first paragraph that you wrote.

Yall need to get over yourselves.

Especially the Adam fans. Chris hasn't said it but yall make me want to barf.
This isnt about being "special" or about "talent" it's about working your butt off.

In fact believing that you are better than everyone else and that you DESERVE to be treated as such will only hurt your chances at a musical career.

BECAUSE you won't work as hard and therefore you will waste your potential and lose any chance at having a career.

That's what the blog is about, not a popularity contest, seriously people!!

But then you will always get to say you were "different and special" on American Idol oh and you could "sing the phone book", yeah that has to be my favorite line.

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I haven't written in a while but great post. I especially agree with the last part, do what you love and love what you do, otherwise there's no point in continuing.

ChrisSligh said...

Guys PLEASE do not make this a fan war. I'm not saying one is better than another. I love the top 4 this year & think they all have a chance to be successful with 19. I live Matt Giraud & think he may be 1 of the most talented also rans yet. Megan is cool. I mean literally this season nearly everyone of the top 10 deserves a chance at a record deal. So my post is NOT saying one is better or cooler or has a better chance to succeed.


Anonymous said...

I have to say I watched you on Idol and liked you, but haven't thought about you since you left the show. Out of sight out of mind. I have to say you seem pretty arrogant in your writing. I do agree with some of it, but maybe you should step down a few notches. If I were in your season, I would be offended by your remarks.

As far as season 8 idols, I think you are mistaken about Adam Lambert. I will say that there has NEVER been more hype about a contestant ever. He may have crazy fans, but so did the Beatles and Elvis. All of you naysayers will be proven wrong. I can't wait for that to happen. Also, he is not one to die away when next year when Idol starts again. The haters are the ones who have a problem with him and his fans. It's great to see that you guys are in the minority for sure!!!

We will be the last ones laughing!!! Dispute me, but your argumenta are invalid.

Badpacifist said...

The one thing Idol and the formula of the show does do for the contestants is give memories. We get to know enough about them that long after their rising star has faded we still remember. So in that way they have a second or even third chance at success... it is up to them to work as Chris said and do something remarkable. In my case the reason I check this blog very often was this guys voice and his humor. 19 is a business and is what it is. When I see a story about long ago Idols I am still cheering for them. Some of the Idols are right where they are suppose to be and I bet if you talked to most of them they are happy where they are at. Who wants to tour 24/7. There is more to life than that.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, a handful of these Adam fans commenting on this blog almost make me embarrassed to be an Adam fan too. I too have high hope for his success, but honestly I will be thrilled if he manages to put out a record that does well enough to allow him to do just what Chris suggested, keep doing what he loves.

Chris this is such great advice for your fellow Idol survivors. While naturally I have my favorites, after following the concert tour online this year (which I still cannot believe I actually did) I have really grown to love them all.

But I also know that I (like many people I know in this modern world) have a bit of a short attention span. Sometimes I cringe a little watching the interviews of those not yet signed as they blithely refer to a future record deal, and I worry that they are setting themselves up for severe disappointment. It's not that they can't achieve success in some manner, but it may not be what they are envisioning while they were playing almost nightly to crowds of 10,000.

I hope they have a chance to read your blog, and take this advice to heart. Not because I think they should give it all up and prepare for obscurity, but because it would be smarter to set realistic goals, work their asses off, and then they can then be delighted if they end up exceeded those goals.

Anonymous said...

One thing Chris did that I find important is he not only chose the correct genre for him, he made his music fit what's a hit currently in that genre. In other words, I may enjoy the albums that Michael Johns or Melinda Doolittle put out, but they have a heavily retro flavor and thus their songs have had a hard time getting on the radio.

AI puts a premium on staying true to yourself and your talent, but it helps to have a realistic view of what's selling today. I would be interested to hear what Chris would have to say on this subject. Of course, his faves are the Beatles and they are always in style, so copying them would have been fine!

CathyEM said...

Another thing to keep in mind is the potential of the international audience. Elliott Yamin had amazing success on his debut right after his season of AI, but has struggled with his second CD (indy artists have a very hard time getting radio play or mainstream media promo). But he was picked up by a major label in Japan for distribution, and is a pretty hot artist there, consistently selling out his concerts. He was able to buy a nice home in LA and still does what he loves for a living.

Leah said...

Love your comments & I totally get what you are saying. Those of you who are offended or feel Chris is being arrogant have obviously missed his point. Good Grief people! He plainly said he was not a star BUT he did say he knew what it was like to go from being famous to not being famous and the reality of trying to make it in the music business after AI.

Personally I hope some of the AI folks from season 8 read this blog. They could learn from your experience.

I also have to say that if you take season 6 & 7 into account, you probably are in the top 5. I will also say you are definitely the most sucessful AI contestant who finished 10th or even 9th for that matter. That alone gives you the authoirty to pass on some advice.

I think that you should acknowledge the importance of those 2% of fans who stick with an AI contestant through thick & thin and long after their tour on AI is over that has been mentioned here by Risalea and DJ. I think both of them made very valid points. You seem to have a very devoted group of fans here who have stuck by you. 2% might not seem like a lot but they are the ones who are going to tell their family and friends about you and your music. I think having a blog or something similar where your "true 2% fans" can connect is as important as all the other great advice you gave. So give your 2% fans their due.

Thanks for a very good read Chris. I will have to stop by this blog again and see what else you have to say. Now I am going to go see if I can find a copy of your CD and give it a listen.

Anonymous said...

Great advice! I do wonder if any of the season 8 idols will read this. I think the only one with a good, very good, chance at success with a musical career is Adam. Period.

Anonymous said...

Shoot, you certainly know how to get a discussion started!!!

Anonymous said...

The Adam fans are somewhat delusional especially when they whip out the old comparisons to the Beatles and Elvis. Yes, Adam has had some buildup with Rolling Stone and enjoyed popularity on tour but they have a very unrealistic view of what his real potential is, mainly because they eat sleep breathe him 24/7. He'll have a nice post-idol career but he's not the next big thing on the planet, that's for sure.

Alyssa May said...

I think you're absolutely right about how much they have to work. We haven't heard from the other idols unless they've had a lot of radio play. Sorry to say, but I don't actually know who you are. I think, though, even the idols who were signed have tough roads ahead of them. Kris..MAY have it a little easier than all of them. He's going for the softer rock and he's cute and the ladies love him. much as I love him, there's a lot of pressure on him to do well. Everyone, seriously everyone, expects nothing but perfection from him. If he lets them down, that's it. It's a hit or miss. And even then, some people aren't gonna be happy if it is successful. His fans have different expectations from him. As for Danny, country...I don't know. Haven't heard much reception from him, since he only got recently signed. And, my all time favorite, Allison Iraheta...I think would have a bit of a tough time. Fans..they care about the guys. They don't like the girl who got to spend time and hug and what not with Adam Lambert (for the most part, not saying all fans). She has the odds stacked against her, both on the show and now in her career. She's a girl. A teenager. She's more rock than pop. Pop/rock is a very popular genre, and we don't have an "Allison Iraheta" raspy amazing rock voice...but music and Hollywood..they want a barbie doll. Allison is far from that. She's beautiful and talented but she's not a pageant princess. She never will be. She's crazy and unfiltered. But with the right promotion and songs, she can be phenomenal. All of this is with IF. . I'm hoping all of them are successful...even the ones that haven't been signed yet. Season 8, in my opinion, is by far the most talented group of artists coming from American Idol. I wish you, Chris, along with the idols the best of luck.

By the way...when Season 9 comes on, I will never forget last year's idols. They made that season and the summer one to always remember. Nothing can compare. Ever.

risalea said...

Hey, Leah! Chris has made himself very accessible to his fans. It's quite unusual for an artist to participate in dialogue with his followers, and he's pretty darn good to his "2%." That doesn't mean we don't give a hard time on occasion. : )

Wow, these comments have blown up today. Oh, and I wanted to comment to Melinda, I got the chance to see Jason Castro on Thursday. He was in town on Thursday at a "Girls' Night Out" sponsored by several area radio stations. I enjoyed his set thoroughly and got to get a pic at the end. I told him he was to brave to come out amongst all those women! LOL

DJ in AL said...

Leah, I don't know you, but I like you! one of the 2% I'll back my good friend Risa and say Chris has been uncommonly good to his core group and to be perfectly honest if you've ever been to one of his concerts you'll find him sticking around until the very last fan has received a pic, hug or autograph and I think some would be fairly surprised at how long the line can be.

Look Chris doesn't pretend to be someone he isn't, he never has. He has stayed true to who he is from the beginning. Maybe you love him, maybe you don't. And maybe it's true, maybe he'll never be a superstar, what he will do and in fact is doing is what the majority of us will only dream of or hope to do and that is make a living doing what he truly loves. If that's not a success story than I don't know what one is.

chamilton said...

Okay I know I haven't blogged for a while... But what is going on and who is Adam????I know that people stop by here from time to time and that not everybody is always nice but when did it became okay to stop by and just be an idiot?I mean it's one thing to stop by and leave an opinion that many of us don't agree with but to just keep coming back and trying to make your point and be rude is just another example of out lack of manners that has so evident in the recent weeks. If you don't like Chris that's cool but this is a mostly a fan blog and so take that mess somewhere else because you really don't know and probably don't care anything about this guy or his music or his fan relationships that have developed over the years. I said YEARS!!! For instance you don't know about the humble American Idol that graciously excepted a medal from a little catholic boy that had it blessed by his priest and brought it three hours for an American Idol that he hoped St. Cecilia would be with and help and protect. I am sure you have no thoughts for the members of this Fro Patro that have lost thier lives, prayed for our sick, and rejoiced in other's recovery. So I am happy that new folks are stopping by and that the 2 percent are still faithful. Take care everybody.


P.S. the reason I am blogging... Did anybody see Jordan sing the anthem tonight for the Cowboys game? WOW!!!!

DJ in AL said...

Candy, girl, where you been??
We have SO missed you!! Hope everything is ok in your corner, and you go on with your bad self telling it like it is! Love you girl!

And yes Jordin did an awesome job tonight! You need to see her on Divas too, also very good job!

chamilton said...

Much love back at ya!! Everything here is good. Husband still working in Washington. He came home for two weeks. I will be driving the new car he bought me for my birthday to Springfield... Will I be seeing you there?


Anonymous said...

Pessimistic & sad but so true. Reality is harsh, that's how it is.
I don't actually think that ANY of the top 10 this year are guaranteed to make it. Not even Kris & Adam.

Kris will make music people like & listen to right now, it's what they're used to, it's popular, maybe safe. on one hand, they could embrace him, on the other, they may think he is a lesser version of what already exists - that's the problem with auditioning for Idol no matter how talented you are & he may fade into the background. He will have to work HARD. I know Kris likes to procrastinate & procrastinators will often just let things move on without acting on it. He was in college for yrs trying to stay focused & finish his degree but he couldn't & eventually decided to pursue purely music. I really hope he sticks with music & does not give up no matter how stressful & demanding it becomes. Really, I can't see him giving it up, he breathes it. Overall, I'm not too worried for him. I think he will make a living doing what he loves & enough people will love it. If he's smart, he will stay in touch with his friends, Allison, Matt, Adam, the others. While they are seperate artists, I know thousands of people would tune in to watch a Kris/Adam interview & duet simply because they are hilarious together, bounce off each other naturally as friends with chemistry & sound pretty epic harominizing. So I hope his management don't rule that out for both their sakes.

Adam. Insane talent. But also V hit & miss. Taking risks is what he does, moving outside the box, evolving & experimenting musically & visually like he did every week on Idol, like he was doing pre-Idol. Now it mostly worked for him on Idol bc he was so different to their usual packages & refreshing but in the real world, people may not get him at all or may find his 'art' annoying & tiresome - already been done. He has already been branded the male Gaga. Some people will dismiss him quickly . Adam was polarizing from the start & something tells me he will be even moreso now that he's off the show. I know he is aware of that & taking risks is more important & exciting to him than pleasing everyone but I just hope ENOUGH people 'get' him & like his music/vids/performances. He has great potential but needs to surround himself with honest people. I bet there are a lot of ppl kissing his a.rse right now. I hope he doesn't push people's buttons too hard, try TOO hard to shock otherwise it becomes a gimmick & he will become a charicature of himself. He needs ppl who will tell him, "no sweetheart, that will make you look ridiculous, TRUST me on this" or "this song is CHEESY rubbish do NOT go there". The largest factor that will be his downfall, is his HYPE. People HATE hype. They like to see overhyped people fail no matter how sweet or talented or genuine they are. Doesn't matter. The higher you rise the harder you fall. The media have built him up ridiculously so when he comes out with an electronica/dance/pop album that sucks, I can already hear tons of people going "WTF" or "I expected rock" or I expected so much better, this is bad or "lmao I knew he would fail hahahaha". I think he would make an immense frontman making Citizen Vein/IAMX/Muse/Led Zep esque music but he's already fronted a band so I guess he's trying something diff now that he finally has a chance to record. I hope his music is solid bc he has everything else going for him. Voice aside, his charisma & articulacy will land him a lot of interviews & maybe some acting/presenting/guest roles. If he's smart, he will also keep in touch with his Idol friends, doing an acoustic collab with Kris & doing more powerhouse, duets w Allison would give his fans something extra & will win them all new fans.

Anonymous said...


I HOPE Allison is super successful I can't even put into words what I think of her talent. Her voice should be illegal. I'm worried they will give her Disney cr.ap & try & market her as the next Miley. She deserves so much better with that talent.
I have a feeling her album will be solid & I think she is pretty easy to sell, there's a gap in the market for a fiesty teen rocker with a powerful voice, who can move & is sexy but not tarty. She reminds me of Kelly Clarkson but more exciting with a refined, mature, powerful, husky voice & raw swagger. I hope she speaks out against anyone who tries to mold or heavily control her like they did w Megan on tour :[

I really want Matt to make it, he's got mad talent - vocally & on the piano. He is KILLER on the piano, ppl just need to see him live. I think he could make money off his music but prob won't be a star. That's fine. I hope they all will be successful. Mainstream, everyday TV/radio success is what most of them want but happiness is important. I hope all the Idols find happiness & success. I hope they all manage to make a living, my heart goes out to Megan who is a single mom.

Wish them all luck, they all need to really go out there & make it for themselves.
I'mma tweet this to all the Idols. Great advice Chris, you're a good guy.

Cathy Storms said...

Candy, your going to Springfield? Darn..I so want to go. It's good to hear from you girl. Been missing you.
Isn't there another concert we can all go to where I don't have a conflict? please..please...

DJ and Risa, you girls have been right on with your posts tonight. I have to agree with ya both. Not much to add to what you have already said. I love being a part of that 2 percent and through Chris have met some amazing people and hope to meet even more.

I don't follow any other past idols, other than Kelly Clarkson, besides Chris.

SignMattGiraud said...

Chris - I loved you on the show and still love you now! :)

Thank you for your blog post! I am a HUGE Matt Giraud fan...and so this hits right at the center of my worries for him (as you can imagine). I believe he is one of the most talented contestants to ever grace that Idol stage...but he does need to begin taking the steps you've listed to WORK hard for that record deal or even if he gets a record deal, still work hard to promote himself! In the meantime, I am going to do all I can to help.

My question though, is how much of a role do the "devoted" fans have in the success of a contestant? I personally feel that if you can build up your fanbase and keep them even after tour (i.e. Jason Castro) BIG things can happen. I'm praying so anyways....

Anonymous said...

Can I just say there are 2 TROLLS on here TROLLING as Adam fans. It was just on Idle Tard that they trolled your blog Chris as "crazy Adam fans". Somewhat funny, somewhat lame.
As for the actual over zealous ones, there are like 2 of them here. They annoy the hell out of me and I hope Adam gets rid of them once he makes his own music. I hope they move onto the next Season because I wouldn't want them as fans if I were Adam. Cook still has a bunch of obnoxious crazies who follow him around from concert to concert poor dude. As does Castro who I don't care for but still. I think these fans are the same bunch of people every yr tbh.

risalea said...

Candy, you're definitely coming to Springfield? Yay!!!!! Is your mama coming, too? Girl, we're gonna' have a great time. Are you stopping at an OK concert on the way or on the way home? Didn't know if either is along the way for you.

Heehee, I'm laughing at your "Who is Adam?" comment. Have you been totally away from media the last several months? I won't stir the pot with any Adam comments here, but you definitely need to go google my homeboy, Kris Allen! LOL

Anon people, please get you a blogger name. We want to say hi to you and it's hard when you're all named the same thing! : )

Y'all have a fantastic week!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE ADAM BUT PEOPLE NEED TO STOP HYPING HIM. He himself said his biggest worry is the hype pressure. Hype kills. He can't understand why he's being hyped before he's even released one record. STOP ALREADY.

Anonymous said...


I think he was talking about the Adam poster near the top of the page...

risalea said...

Anon 9:19, LOL, I think you're right.

Sorry, Candy. I was beginning to think KS had fallen into the Twilight Zone or something. : )

Anonymous said...

Right on Chris! I worked in the record business for a zillion years in Hollywood before I left to be a mom. Everything you are saying is absolutely FACT. I hope the current Idols read it. I love that you are real about 19(all the letters).
Good luck to you.

Badpacifist said...

Hey Risalea,
rofl "Twilight Zone" That is an expression I now use when repairing plumbing at some peoples houses thanks to teenage girls and their obsessions. Posters, calendars, stickers,etc Surely you know that to "our generation" that means one thing but with my grandkids, their friends and an awful lot of their moms it means something completely different.

Leah said...

Risalea & DJ,
I am so glad to hear that as part of Chris's 2% fans that he takes good care of you plus his new fans that come to see him at his shows. I kinda of got the impression from reading this blog that he was that kind of guy. Lets face it, how many idols have a blog where they actually post back to their fans?

It was just that both of you had great points and Chris did not respond to either one of you but rather to some other folks who had posted. I just wanted to point out to him that he must have super cool fans and to give you two and the other 2% your props.

That said, I must say that I really liked Chris on Season 6. He had a great sense of humor and seemed very real and down to earth. I know a lot of people did not get his humor but I did. I am glad he is doing well and I am going to defintely pick up his CD tomorrow after work Can't wait to give it a listen. Any suggestion of where I might find it? Walmart Target??

Melinda said...

Risalea, thanks for letting me know about Jason's show. I really LOVE his new music. So glad to hear you like it, too. Pictures and video from the radio tour are pouring in now, so we're all pretty excited. Helps to pass the time while waiting for that album release date.

For the record, I also enjoyed Chris when he was on the show, and he never ceased to make me laugh. =)

Badpacifist said...

For those new peeps
besides of course

Carmen said...

You have been so missed girl. Where have you been?
Super glad that you are coming to the Springfield show? I am going to be there too. Plus I am bringing my Mom with me. Is your Mom going to be there? We are going to have us one great party!!

Try your local christian book store to get Chris's CD or or even itunes. May I also suggest you look for a CD called "Take A Chance On Something Beautiful" by Half Past Forever. This was the band that Chris was part of before American Idol. All of the vocals on the album are Chris and he wrote the songs for it too. It is my personal favorite. It has a very raw edgy feel to it that I love. It will totally melt your face off! You can find it at a lot of christian bookstores too.


Webster said...

Very good post, Chris. I saw the link at mj's, but have read similar advice from musicians outside the AI sphere, and it all makes sense. I'll just add a comment and a question:

I think what you're recommending applies to the ones who are signed as much as it does to the others. They, perhaps, have the luxury of working only on their music and not needing a day job, but otherwise, it's the same thing. Idol affords an opportunity to work as a musician with a few more fan and industry contacts than before, but it's the opportunity to work that's important. Winning a record deal isn't even the end point, you have to deliver on that. It's just an elevated version of landing a club gig. It's still just a gig that you have to bring the goods on.

And the question: I don't know the backgrounds of any of the contestants you're referencing, but I wonder if the ones who were primarily working musicians before idol are the ones who are navigating the biz best afterwards. People who were occasional performers or students or whatever, who, despite a talent for and love of music, never really threw themselves into it - maybe those are the ones who are at sea now, either because of ignorance or temperament. What do you think?

risalea said...

Leah, yeah, he does tend to respond to the Negative Nellies, but we try to overlook that character flaw. (ducking quickly) Your best bet at finding his CD is on his website at You can also find it at amazon, as well as the earlier CD that Carmen referenced.

Melinda, if you're gonna' be around, I'll let you know when I get my Jason pics and video up. I've had too much going on this weekend to get it done.

robyn said...

You go girl! Way to defend our guy!

You too! Ya'll keep those bad anons straight!!

If you want to buy one of Chris's awesomely great cd's just go here:

but if you want a real Chris Sligh experience you need to go to one of his concerts...if you are near one of his 'Back To School Tour' venues, you should try it out!!!

It really looks like you put so much time and thought into this post. Anybody who thinks it's anything other than the way you meant it obviously needs to read through it again and pay attention this time around!
The only thing I would add to it is the fact that you happen to have great songwriting talent, a great sense of humor (which is very entertaining) and wonderful voice to along with it!

Melinda said...

That'd be great Risalea! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow Chris, I've lurked here for 3(?) years but this has finally spurred me to comment. You have hit the nail on the head with this one. This is a reality. So far only 2 superstars have come out of idol: Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. That's not really a good track record. But every idol artist, these two included, are facing steadily declining record sales. And when the record company and 19 management have milked these idol artists for everything, they will turn them loose. Before the inevitable happens they had better have a plan in place.

I've been following Taylor Hicks' career since he won season five and he always seems to be the example of a "failure" in the idol system, but in reality he is one with a realistic and smart approach to how he is building his career. Post-idol, Arista did very little to promote him because they knew his limitations to the commercial pop market. He didn't sign with 19 management, so there was a bit of backlash on that end as well. He split with his label, turned down major label offers and formed his own record and touring company and toured with success through most of 2007. Coming off the tour, he spent months in Nashville networking with top songwriters for material for his next album. As his momentum off the show had died down, He got his name back out there by starring in a summer stint of Grease on Broadway. For his first indie release, he hired top musicians from Paul McCartney's and Eric Clapton's band to achieve the sound he wanted for the album. He released the album (a very good one)..and basically no one outside his fanbase cared...
But he is now starring on the national tour of Grease. The typical week consists of a round of local TV and radio interviews. He does 8 shows of Grease a week, sings a single off the album afterwards, then goes out in the lobby and signs CDs and T-shirts for everyone who wants one. Compared to the mainstream idols his sales are meager, but at $20 a pop for his indie CD with sales of about 800 a week in the Grease lobby, he is actually netting more than all but the top major label sellers. And with all that, he schedules an after hour club show in select Grease cities to perform his own material. He is working his ass off, and he is making it work by getting creative and taking control and ownership in his career.

If it has been this tough for an idol winner without proper support from the record company and 19, think of what the others will face. It is tough if you don't have a support system, and most will not. Idol fans are notoriously fickle and ready to hop on that next bandwagon. The sooner these alums coming off the tour realize this, the better off they will be.

Anonymous said...

Great advice!

I agree, Adam will kill it. But Kris will do well for a year, then slow down. he can sing but he is boring. You do underestimate Danny though. He is controvertial, but he was amazing on the tour and impressed many who were not fans before. He is also a very interesting character with personality. Plus he has a fabulous voice.

Hate to say it, but David Cook is on his way out. I went to a small concert of his recently and it was totally dull. Yes he can sing, but you could hardly tell with the blaring music. I nearly left half way. He will NOT fill stadiums any longer. No personality with this guy.

Anonymous said...

Someone said that David Cook is on his way out, and I think that is just one person's opinion. He has 2 platnum singles, and his cd is platnum. He has had 3 singles in the AC top 10 and 2 videos on VH1 top 20 for several weeks. Also, his tour has beaten the record for the most number of shows for any debut artist from AI.This has been stated at his recent shows. I think and hope he'll be around for a long time to come. His preidol music was fantastic (IMO) and he has a very loyal fanbase.

I do think the ones with more experience in the business do better after AI.

Chris I think your advice is good for musicians. My brother tried to break through as a musician, and it was hard. He wasn't able to, but still played locally and wrote his own music. He never moved to one of the music cities, which is what I think would have helped.

captjojo said...

Hello Mr. Sligh! Some good advice for those coming out. I'm going to be really blunt here with how I see some of these idols.

Yourself: I remember you, I've never followed your post idol career, but it went in a direction that was not of primary interest to me, but I respect what you're doing from what I've heard of it.

Commercially successful idols:
Clarkson, Aiken (in his own way) Hudson, Daughtrey (who I was less than impressed with post idol, but apparently I'm alone there), Underwood, and Sparks.

Some of the others you've mentioned.
Sanjaya, urban legend

David A. seems to be on a sort of Aiken path to success

David C. I could easily see having a hard time keeping up his success, he's never struck me as particularly original or noteworthy, rather generic brand of pop rock.

White: Hope she has an indie career, I'd check out her stuff
Couple of other season 7s may do moderately alright.

Doolittle: I want her to do SO well, shame she hasn't gotten more exposure/coverage

Lewis: Novelty act, might have an audience in the right place and time (maybe Sweden?)

I'll give props to all the idols who've gone on to successful careers in musical theatre.

The only idols who have multiple tracks of original music in my personal ipod are the two whose original songwriting caught me during their season:
Josiah Leming, only produced indie, but possibly one of the most talented people to come through idol and never even made it to the big stage. BEAUTIFULLY gifted songwriter. I highly recommend checking him out and:
Castro, sky's the limit there, between the grassroots fanbase and the accomplishment of signing with a (imo grownup) non 19E label, I really think Jason can have a long term career, he's got a nice dose of It factor, coupled with drive and talent. I'm looking forward to seeing him progress and grow as an artist. I suspect we may hear from him for some time to come if his current output is any indicator.

Which brings me to season 8...
Allen...for me Jason 2.0...more pop star material, but not nearly as musically interesting to me. Someone put it well, when they said he's Castro, but he is much more aware that he is attractive and so doesn't quite have the down to earth appeal that Jason has.

Lambert...I was really impressed with him, til I found out he was a musical theatre guy, then he struck me as an actor playing the part of rockstar. Ziggy Stardust more than the real deal.

I'd wanted to hear more from Bo Bice but never was motivated enough to seek him out.

Pretty much everyone else: who?

Just my impressions, some might be a touch harsh, but hey, this is the blogosphere. But having said all that, I think your advice is sound for those who may not have won the competition and still want to pursue music as a career.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this.I have tweeted this link numerous times to my favorite idol from this season because I hope he heeds it....really sound and well-meaning advice.

As for some of the comments posted, it just goes to show how AI has cultivated a following of wannabe "judges"...people who think they know a thing or two about spotting a possible superstar and foreseeing the success of a particular idol...I'm sure you understand about fantards :( .

Good luck and thanks again.

chamilton said...

Hey guys,
I will be bringing mom with me she is my Sligh partner! With hubbu gone I don't have as much time to post but I am always reading. It will be good to see everybody who is coming and for Ms. Cathy... Which show would work out better? Take care all and Happy Monday


Anonymous said...

Finally the truth will set you free! And after reading this, I'm hoping others will read it and get a clue as to the reality of 19 Entertainment!

I hope others who think they'll make it BIG after American Idol realize that instead of getting the champagne, 1st class tour, they're giving you money to buy the best walking shoes you can afford because they're not going to help you one bit!

Thank you for being soooooooooooo effing honest about what the reality is compared to what the "glamour & lights" are shown on TV.

Show business is bloody hard work! You have to have to pipes to sing, act, and dance while learning how to do those Excel spreadsheets!!

This article totally rocks! And finally, I hope you make Chris because you know just how hard it's going to be. You've been warned, you Wannabes and now, go home and pull the covers over you head because you have to take the bus to your next gig . . .

Chris, AWESOME!!

Dawn said...


As someone who once considered trying to have a music career and put a lot of time into songwriting, done a lot of research and read many books on the music business, I can say that I think you are spot on with the advice you are giving. Anyone trying to make it in the music industry (not just former Idols) would be well advised to pay attention to the words of wisdom you are generously sharing. I was a fan during your Idol season and was very disappointed you did not finish further up the chain, as I would have liked to see what else you could do on the show.

That said, I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and though I usually do not buy Christian music, I think I just may have to support a guy who is as open, honest and sharing as yourself - I will be checking out your music!

DJ in AL said...


LOL, as Risa says if you've been lurking here for any length of time you know Chris likes a good argument and the 2% of us, well we don't give him much to argue with. It's ok, he acknowledges us in tangible ways. Personally I think he should devote a whole blog post to us but I don't think I'll be holding my breath on that! Leah hang around the blog you are a great addition, specially when you say what I want to hear:)

Candy, sadly not coming to Springfield, not in the cards/budget this year but super glad you are going and hope you have a great time! Happy to see you around the blog.

Glad to see for the most part everyone decided to behave over night and act like adults-that's always appreciated! It's exhausting running all the negative nellies off!

K, so sending out harmonious vibes to ya'll from a very rain-wet DJ in AL! Everyone play nice!

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris. Funny you think the idols this year are so good. I started watching Idol the year you were on and have watch since, but this is the ONLY year I have not liked any of the top 10. Anyone following MJs big blog seeing how often Adam is on vocal rest? Brooke White is on vocal rest and Im sure there are others I have missed. I buy just about every idol album when they are put out, especially if I liked them on the show, but not this year. I can not imagine listening to any of them for the length of a cd. This by the way is the ONLY year we didnt attend a concert too. So Im looking forward to another year of idol (sadly without Paula and even worse with Kara still there) Ellen could have replaced Kara and they could have kept Paula. The show has become too robotic. It used to be fun, challenging, etc and now its the people listening to what the judges say and voting accordingly (except that Adam didnt win as expected). America did have the vote this time. Kris is one idol I might consider buying the cd of. I usually try to support the idols all I can, but this year Im not a fan of any. I have your cds Chris and I sent you a lot of msgs on Myspace to which you always replied. You put yourself out there and that is why you are as good as you are. You have responded to several people right here on this blog in which you speak the truth. I knew it was probably like that out there. Thats all Im saying for now. Thanks for listening.

EmilyBoo said...

Wow! I don't stop by the blog over the weekend, and see what happens!

Welcome to the newbies, hope you stick around!

Risa, look what you started with your 2% comment! A lot of posters picked up on it!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many Idols feel they have it made when they come off the tour? People screaming your name, asking for your autograph and taking pictures of you - that does crazy things to your ego, but you have to remember these people are fans of a TV show. If you want a music career, you still have to work at it and prove yourself.

Chris - your advice was spot-on.

Jeanna said...

GREAT post Chris. It was linked on - glad I followed it!
The music business is very, very hard - even for those who have been in it for a long time and have had lots of success.
This advice is spot on.

Jeanna said...

One other thing to add - Chris, how excited are you for Switchfoot's Hello Hurricane album?

Grady said...

I agree totally Chris. As a webmaster, if there is one thing I've learned, it is that good things come to those who work, NOT those who just Twitter, which is all that any of the AI8 contestants seem to do...

Anonymous said...

Wow, Chris! Much discussion here!
I understand you did not want to start a fan war. Some ppl need to chill.

Thank you for writing this! I agree!! And I hope this crop of contestants takes your advice!

I am a huge fan of Anoop's. I don't know why I got so attached to him. He is so much better than what they showed on tv. Listen to his studio recordings - amazing voice! However, his personality is very reserved. I think that's gonna hurt him. But he does have an amazing group of friends who will keep him real. (and they are just as talented as Anoop) I'm not delusional and think he's gonna be a superstar. I just want him to make music I love and tour so I can see him. I will do all I can to help him. Check out his street team

I also love Matt! He is a great piano player and has the voice and personality to go far.

But you are right - it's gonna depend on who works hard. Nothing is handed to you. Good luck to them all!

risalea said...

OK, here it is, I hate to ask, but have to know....Chris, what do you think of Kris Allen's single, "Live Like We're Dying" released this morning? (for those of you who don't know, it was previously released by an Irish band called the Script). If you haven't heard it, you can go to and click that red bar at the top. I like it, the music and the message..."We've only got 86 400 seconds in a day--to turn it all around or to throw it all away. Gotta tell em that we love em while we got the chance to say...gotta live like we're dyin'." Catchy, and I think it's a good tune for radio. And that's my totally unbiased Arkansas opinion. : )

melkush77 said...

Chris - You have obviously been working really hard over the past few years to educate yourself about the music business. This is not only great advice for the Idols, but also for anyone looking to work as a musician. I have been working on both the artist and venue side of the music industry for the past 6 years and have often thought about writing a book geared specifically to young musicians. More of a 101 book than an "Everything you'll ever need to know" book. So many artists don't know what to do to be successful, but you really seem to have it down. If you'd ever like to write that book with me, just let me know! On twitter @CancerGirl16

Leah said...

Thanks for the invite to stay and hang around. Not quite sure what I exactly said that you wanted to hear but glad my point was well received.
I was able to find Chris's CD today and gave it a listen on the way home from work. Really like the song In a Moment. Did Chris write all of this music himself? His album was not what I was expecting. For some reason I didn't quite expect it to be as serious as it was. I guess the thing I remember most about Chris from American Idol was his very strange (in a good way) sense of humor. I realize music albums are not funny but I kind of thought his CD would be more light hearted. I guess I never realized Chris could be such a deep thinker.

So now I am wondering and maybe you can tell me DJ, is Chris funny in person or is it just for TV?

Just a little background about me and how I stumbled onto this blog. I am a real big Kellie Pickler fan. She is really the only idol I have followed though I do watch the show every year. Kellie just seemed to strike a chord with me. I guess it was the humble circumstances she came from and the determination she had to make something of herself. Not to mention she has incredible singing and writing talent. She also has a great quirky sense of humor. I often go to MJ's blog to see if she has posted any new stuff on Kellie and I found this link about Chris's latest post. Seemed interesting so I had to read it. Boy was I surprised by all the people posting over here! Like I said yesterday, Chris made all valid points even if he forgot to publically mention the 2% of fans that an idol needs to keep close if they are to succeed. Thanks to DJ and Risalea, I understand that Chris takes good care of his "2%"
So DJ let me in on the secret, what are the perks of being a 2% Chris Sligh fan? LOL


Cathy Storms said...

Leah~Welcome to our little family here. I am part of the 2 percent and the perks of being one of the 2 percent is getting to know Chris. I have traveled to Nashville twice and to Arkansas once to see him. (And of course to see the other 2 percent).
Is he funny in person. Yes he very funny and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He doesn't treat the 2 percent as fans, he treats us as friends or as Aunties.
I hope you stay around on the blog so we can get to know you better.
We have a picnic in Nashville every year with Chris. We have had two already and they are a blast. We have them over the 4th of July weekend and we have so much fun.
Hopefully we will have another one next year.
Also it is not uncommon for some of us to get together for a concert. I live in California so it's hard for me to go the shows but it's not by lack of trying.

So welcome and please stick around.

risalea said...

Hey, the way of background, Chris wrote "In a Moment" for his wife, Sarah. He does write about deep subjects, he writes about life and his faith. He wrote or co-wrote everything on the album. He is witty(esp. when he's "on")...let me give you this link of a song he sang at the concert he did here for my Junior League fundraiser back in January. He didn't write this one, but did a great spin on it. LOL

And here, introducing his #1 Rascal Flatts song:

(Umm, the screams, well there were several Blogger girls there that night)

Off to a life in a nutshell! : )

ChrisSligh said...

I am definitely funny (or try to be fun at least) in real life Leah but I definitely played a character on tv. I was trying to be funnier in initial rounds to give good tv, which they tell you to do of you want to be on the show.

But we're all dual creatures. I'm actually a pretty serious dude who loves to have fun on regular occasions, if that makes sense. When I write I want to write music that can hit people where they are. Funny music, to me, is such a let down... Once you've heard the joke you've heard the joke. I wanna write lyrics that take time to pull back the layers of.

Glad you like In A if my favorites too


Leah said...

Thanks for the welcome and for sharing some insight into the perks that the 2% get. Sounds like lots of fun.
Love that video link. Very cute indeed. That is defintely the personality that I remenber seeing on TV.

I totally get the serious & funny personality thing. Kellie was very funny on AI (of course in a much different way than you) but her music can be very serious and moving. Just listen to her song "I Wonder." Makes me want to cry every time I hear it.
I think that Kellie played up the whole "dumb blonde" country girl thing while she was on AI. Anybody who has followed her career knows she is very smart and savy. I think she has done a lot of the smart things that you mentioned in your post if you want to succeed after American Idol. She has learned the music business. She has worked hard, she's put out great CD's, she moved to a music city, and she has written music with other folks. She has also been proactive in her career. The girl will sing just about anywhere. You can also tell she is passionate about what she does and is greatful for all that has happened to her.

Chris, some of your music on the album is very christian while other songs are what I would call more pop or main stream. Like In a Moment which Risa said you wrote for your wife.
Is your music always mixed like that? Or did you throw some main stream stuff in to eventually cross over. Just curious.
I wasn't able to find the other album that was mentioned. Is that one also christian or more main stream? Not that I have anything against Christian music but I am not one to really get into songs about "the blood" and all that. I kind of like christian music that can cross over like "Jesus Take the Wheel". It tells a great story of faith yet isn't preachy and stuff.
Thanks Chris for responding to my former post. It was great to hear from you and see that you are so accesible to your fans and those new to your blog.


MyPenManShip said...

Why doesn't anyone ever mention Kelly Pickler as a success from AI? She has done great!

Jessica said...

Man, I used to like you Chris Sligh, but I've been following your blog for awhile now, and you just seem so cocky. I think your "2% fans" contribute to your bloated idea of yourself. You try to come off as "real" and "honest," but just come off as an asshole. Sorry, just true. You remind me of that annoying 12-year-old kid who thinks they know everything about a certain topic and try to impart their knowledge to anyone who will listen and just annoys the crap out of everyone with their bragging. Meanwhile, everyone just wants to shake them saying "YOU ARE NOT AS COOL AS YOU THINK YOU ARE!" That about sums it up.

Carmen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...


EmilyBoo said...

Leah, for a more light-hearted Chris tune, try "Poorly Written Love Song" on his songwriting myspace.

Or better yet, how about "Rock Stars Need Money," a fave of mine!
(Video courtesy of Risalea!)

DJ in AL said...


As one of the 2% of the fanbase that sticks around I'm just gonna be honest and say I'm pretty offended by your comments. Not about what you said about Chris, if you think he's an asshole that's totally your prerogative and I'm guessing he won't lose any sleep over it. But to your comment about the 2% feeding into his bloated idea of himself. Give me a break! If you truly have been following this blog you'd already know that Chris has a very realistic and yes the word you take issue with "honest" opinion of who he is and what he has accomplished.

And again if you have been following this blog for any amount of time you'd know that AI wasn't his first attempt at a music career, he's been at this for quite some time. He knows what works and what doesn't because he's lived it and while some of his opinions are/were blunt they are nevertheless tried and true.

Anyway, that about sums up what I wanted to say.

DJ in AL said...


I'll tell ya I didn't realize until just recently how good Kellie was doing! I don't listen to a ton of country music but I saw her latest video (sorry can't remember the name of the song) but I couldn't believe how beautiful and polished she was, and how beautiful the video was. I think someone has already said this, Leah I think, but yea I think that whole "dumb blonde" thing was totally an act. I think she's laughing her dumb blond act all the way to the bank, these days LOL!

Jen said...

Hey Chris,

Just wanted to say I love your music, and just found your blog due to all of the media talking about your "bitter rant" towards the other idols.What.Ever.

Anyway, I just thought you should know, that as I read your blog, I kept thinking that your blog writing style reminded me of Adam Duritz's, and then I saw that he's someone you admire, so I thought that was kind of cool. Gotta love Counting Crows- they're still rocking it these days. Anyway, keep up the great work- you spoke the truth to the others, they need to hear it!

Carmen said...

Just wanted to say that Kellie had an advantage over Chris and that she was and still is very attractive. I know that Chris said that when he looked in the mirror that he thought his body was most like Christina Aguilera! LOL

But you got to admit that Kellie has the look that American Idol wants and well, Chris doesn't. Not that I am taking away from anything that you said about her. I agree with you. She has pretty much done the things that Chris mentioned were key to having a sucessful career. Its just that Chris has been sucessful even though as he puts it, he is "the fat, not-so-great-looking guy who came in 10th place"

Anyway, I am glad that you are hanging around here Leah. It is good to have you. We always like new folks as long as they are respectful.

Anonymous said...

Good advice that even some older Idols from earlier seasons would have been wise to take note of.

This should be required reading for any potential AI contestant.

risalea said...

Well, went to do a Mary Kay class and come home and find more, ahem, interesting comments.

For instance, I find it amusing when folks lead such boring lives that they feel the urge to show everyone what limited vocabularies they have. The "a" word, really, surely one can do better than that! I'm really laughing at the assertion that we've fed Chris's ego. Chris had a healthy self-esteem before any of us came around, and good for him! You better have a good self-esteem in this business, or it will chew you up and spit you out. If you don't think you're any good, why should anyone else? I think his successes speak for themselves. Is he perfect? Nah. None of us are. And he never claimed to be. Enough about that.

Love me some Kellie Pickler! You should follow her on twitter @therealpickler. I admire her for overcoming her circumstances and I love her songs and her voice.

Enjoying the new folks. Leah, I know I saw Take A Chance on Something Beautiful available on Amazon when I looked last night--Half Past Forever was his group name, but it comes up when you do a search on Chris.

Micha said...

Better advice would be to not suck and be original. Jennifer Hudson didn't win and I'm pretty sure people remember her so did chris daughtry Josiah Leming didn't even make it to the main show and hes making great music. So I think your just bitter that your unoriginal and can't make a name for yourself.

Hischild said...

WELL, (one of the 2% here who hasn't read the blog or MJ's in a couple days)! Paying the price as it just took me TWO hours to catch up and now it's bedtime. :o(

BUT gotta welcome the new post-ers, tell Chris "great, thoughtful, sound advice" (as usual) and testify as the others have that getting to know Chris over the years has been a blast!
He's very generous w/his time and talent. Love that this post and the references to it from the other sites has spurred more TCOSB sales!

Good night all!

poko-poko said...

Wow Chris... this is a very good blog! Hopefully previous contestants will learn from this. also I'm a Season 7 fan and you've left out some of the contestants... other than Brooke,Michael, Carly and Jason (Nov.17) releasing an album Kristy Lee released an album aswell, and I think charted at #49 in the US billboards and #8 US Country Charts... though she and her label (Arista) have recently parted ways, I think it's worth mentioning... and Syesha is now starring as Deena Jones (Beyonce's role) in the Dreamgirls tour. She is currently recording for her album and is planning to release it early next year.. according to a blog from her, She recorded a song written by Ryan Tedder, who is really well known nowadays. Ramiele has also released new singles... anyhoo you could see that the Season 7 contestants are pretty successful, or at least getting there. Again, Nice blog and I wish you all the best! You truly deserve the success your experiencing! :D

EmilyBoo said...

Micha, I'm trying to figure out in what way Chris' post sounded bitter? To me it sounded like helpful words of advice to new people in the music business, from someone who HAS made a name for himself. Did you miss the part where he has songs on both Christian and country music charts? If those are not YOUR genres of choice, that doesn't make him an unknown. And since you think Chris is unoriginal, I'd like to hear more from you: specific examples of some of his songs, and what they sound like to you. Please write back respectfully, I'm genuinely interested in what you have to say.

robyn said...

my goodness....things just keep on gettin' more interesting over here!
Love it! I hope more of these newbies will listen to Chris's cd's and decide for themselves if he has a leg to stand on with his advice! (hint: he Does!)

risalea said...

Oh, Micha probably came over from Perez Hilton's readers. Really, because of Hilton's comments I'm going to quit reading what he has to say.

Oh, wait, I never started! Never mind.

; )

DJ in AL said...

Spellcheck, use it people, when you don't your message loses it's credibility. (man I hope I spelled that right)

The "bitter" card always cracks me up. Man we've never heard that before. When I hear that I know for sure the poster a) doesn't know anything about Chris, b) hasn't followed this blog, c) hasn't followed his career, and d) didn't really read his post.

As for Perez Hilton posting something nasty about Chris, I have just one thing to say, AWESOME!!!! Chris will be the 1st to tell you that's the kind of exposure money just can't buy.

Advice for the day: Beware of the trolls!

Cathy Storms said...

Perez Hilton posted about Chris? That is awesome as DJ says. If he's writing then he's reading and listening to Chris. WhooHoo!!!

Sending happy thoughts from California....

Demi Eliese said...

Hi Chris-I go to Seacoast and have seen you perform numerous times in church. I think you make some very valid points about "making it" in the music industry. While I know nothing about it, I'm sure it's all correct. The thing I am kind of put off with you is your arrogance and your seemingly overshadowing thoughts about anyone on AI; which sound very negative. I'm no stranger as to telling it like it is, but I think it can be done with tact, and without hurting someone's feelings. Maybe the music industry has changed the way you think about things but never forget where you came from and the gift you were given. I seem to hear that Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson and many others are doing TO ME it seems that the best in the game are the ones winning the race in the music industry. I don't think bitterness and resentment will get you anywhere, and I hope and pray that you can let that go.


Demi Eliese said...

Be humble-no matter what.

DJ in AL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJ in AL said...

Oh goodie another Anon heard from.

Classy too.

Yawn, it's gonna be another long day!

Anonymous said...

HI there - I'm the latest "anon" from above. My name is Karen, but really, who cares.

Listen, I wrote my post to truly give some constructive criticism. Chris is talented and he's a funny guy. Sure, all artists have to promote themselves. I don't blame him for working hard to promote himself.

But there is something in the WAY Chris promotes himself that comes off as arrogant. This is my opinion, and it looks like it's shared by other people, judging by other posts I've scrolled through.

So, Chris Sligh, and supporters like DJ in AL who apparently jumps on ANYBODY who criticizes Chris, you can either just ignore this feedback and write me off, or think about it.

I would think that an artist's likeability is related to their popularity and success - ESPECIALLY in the Christian music market. So if you're ok with a sizeable number of people calling you arrogant (as was also the case in the weekly posts), then fine - ignore my comment here, make fun of me, or call me "classless." Whatever - no skin off my back. I have a great job, and I'm SO GOOD AT IT.

ChrisSligh said...

Wow...I just for the life of me can't wrap my head around what I'm supposedly bitter about. Like seriously I'm not bitter about one freaking thing. How the crap could I be bitter? I have absolutely not one thing to be bitter about. I beat the system. I'm trying to help others beat the system. I mean seriously people...blunt? Sure. Real? For sure. On the mark? Absolutely? Confident that I am right? Absofreakinglutely. But I just can't see the bitter angle.

Bitterness by definition comes from expectations being dashed. My expectations have all come through. I used idol to get a manager, a record deal, a publishing deal and have seen success. That is what I expected it to do. So how then am I bitter?

Now some people have always read my confidence as cockiness which I do get....esp in print. It's hard to see heart online. I usually try & stay away from anything like that in the blogs, at least lately....I got tired of trying to explain myself. This time though I don't feel bad at all.

I said this before but it bears repeating. When you are writing a self help article you have to give example to your audience of why you should be listened to. My points were not to say to anyone of you "look how awesome I am.". You're not my audience. I'm not trying to impress you ( or anyone). I'm not patting myself on the shoulder. I'm objectively saying, "I should not have succeeded but I have. All of you should not succeed, but let me tell you how you can beat the system and do what you love and make a very good living doing it.".

So, think it's cocky...doesn't bother me. Cocky is patting yourself on the back for the sake of doing it. I don't need to pat myself on the dies nothing for me. Everything I do has a specific purpose...and self-adulation isn't nor has it ever been one of them.


ChrisSligh said...


Thanks for stopping by...sometimes my fans can be a little overprotective...sorry about that..they mean well, for sure. No disrespect mean to you, I know for sure.

I mentioned this in my former post..I get how it comes across as actually is not a prevelant feeling, but I get it. And honestly, it's not something I hear a lot, except from Idol fans. It rarely if ever comes up in real life. It is almost always only in print that cockiness comes across.

As far as saying "critically-acclaimed" - that wasn't me. That was my publicist who wrote that intro on EW. It was critically-acclaimed and it's not a bad thing to use in promo materials, but again I can see how Idol fans would read into that.

Not to take the responsibility off of myself...I need to do better of not coming across as cocky in print. But as I said...this particular thing was not for're not my audience.

Hope that makes sense.


Felix Papadakis said...

Please record a single of Endless Love like you did when you were on AI. I still play it on Youtube, and freaking love what you did to the melody. You made that song sound so "of the moment" and current and you killed it. Killed it my brother. Peace! Felix Papadakis

Anonymous said...

Well said, Chris. More folks need to hear that and act on it if they want to be successful as an artist. Keep it up.

jamaicafest said...

Some excellent advice that every aspiring musician should read.

Jeremy said...

Chris -- I am having trouble tracking down contact info for you; you really got me thinking with this post.

I am a journalist attempting to write an article on the real business of entertainment; if you'd acquiesce to being one of my interview subjects please shoot me an email at (feel free to check out the site too to see what we're doing).

Thank you!

DJ in AL said...

Chris no need to aplogize for me.


If you are the anon that asked Chris to stop being a douchbag then the only problem I had with your post was your use of the word douchebag-and yes in my opinion the use of that word is classless. If you are not the anon that used that word then please accept my heartfelt apology.

I don't have a problem with anyone disagreeing or criticising what Chris wrote, what he says or does, but I do have a problem with drive-by Anons with no vested interest in Chris coming into our community and being disrespectful. And by being disrespectful I mean using words like ahole and douchbag, there are lots of other words that can get that meaning across.

Look I'm not gonna lie. I'm a Sligh fan so I don't love all the criticism but what kind of "fan" would I be if I did?

So anyway I'm done, that was my opinion.

Personally all of this stuff has sucked the fun right of the reason I come here.

Kimmy said...

I like music for it's sound, not who is popular. In time, the world might not follow, and then again, they might.

I am from Chicago. I was ready to buy her album the Wednesday she was voted off Idol.

I have bought your cd, Scott Savol, Jennifer Hudson, Constantine, Elliot Yamin, Bo Bice, and Carrie Underwood. One one winner that I can remember!

I buy music that touches me.

Anonymous said...

Chris, good advice... this is stuff that even the winners/big-label Idols have done to maintain the momentum they've gained through the show.
The one whose career I've followed closest is Cook. He's definitely working it hard on this international tour which has recently passed it's 100 show milesone and has been extended through the end of the year. He's also kept his pre-idol collaborators at his side and builds up those around him.
I'm sure many other former Idols have, too... I just haven't been following.

Karen/Anon said...

Hi there - thanks Chris for responding to all the hoopla and telling us your point of view. I appreciate what you said and it makes sense.

I see your point about needing to point out your credentials in order for people to trust your advice. Point taken.

DJ in AL - I am the person who used the term douchebag and I apologize if it was offensive. I personally find that word hilarious and relish any opportunities to use it. But it obviously distracted from my overall point by insulting you, so for that I apologize.

You're right - I am a drive-by poster and a "troll" but I defend my right to do so, and I argue that Chris probably welcomes and NEEDS newcomers. I was drawn to his blog today by a different, mainstream website. And as you yourself acknowledge, this is great for Chris - it gives him more exposure and possibly a bigger audience! he NEEDS people like me: new audience members and new fans and new exposure equal more success. Your defense of him is admirable, but this website shouldn't be limited only to the long-time, committed fans. My guess is he wants to attract new fans, right?

And if my initial impression after this first-time exposure is, "wow, this guy is a jerk," that only inhibits his ability to succeed. I shouldn't have to follow every word he says for a year to get at the "heart" of Chris or truly understand who he is. If my initial reaction is negative, he's lost me as an audience member.

So again, I'll just re-emphasize my overall point: likeability is related to music success, and my guess is that this is especially the case in the Christian music industry. Chris is attracting all sorts of new people to his blog today due to mainstream coverage. Perception is reality: if people PERCEIVE him as being bitter and arrogant, it almost doesn't matter if he's really NOT. He's done something to create that misperception among the drive-by posters and people who don't know him well - and that could hurt his ability to grow and attract NEW audience members.

Good luck to you Chris Sligh- you're very talented!!!

Anonymous said...

"$200k" IS a lot.
Ask a teacher how many years and degrees they must have under their belt to amass this amount.

DJ in AL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gdahimself said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gdahimself said...

Anonymous said...
"$200k" IS a lot. Ask a teacher how many years and degrees they must have under their belt to amass this amount.

This is going to pay to get an education and a living in this profession before you start to make enogh money to live on. Admitally a nice benefit from being successful on Idol.

DJ in AL said...


I don't do alot of back peddaling in life, but your last post is actualy spot on and I can recognize truth when I hear it. And because I don't hesitate to call out posters who don't play nice, it's only fair to to give credit where credit's due.

Aside from the distraction of you calling Chris a dbag, which I grudgingly admit a word I use for people I don't particularly like,(which is why it's hard to hear it used for someone I do like) everything else you say has a great deal of merit and I suspect Chris will agree with most of it as well.

Unfortunately perception is everything not just in the music industry but in life as well.

For example most people's perception of people from AL is that we are toothless, shoeless, illiterate, lacking in culture and education. When the truth is we actually wear shoes!

Anyway Karen, point taken and I'm moving on.

cleanaturalady said...

Whoa! All the controversy. Such craziness. I have been reading your blog for over a year and follow you on Twitter too. I just have to chuckle at the negativity that people go out of your post. You are obviously a man who works hard and also follows God's lead in your life and music career. Seriously, this tour that you are doing right now is wonderful and you are surely to be blessed by God for bringing your show to everyone, not just those who can afford $200.00 a seat tickets. Don't let naysayers bring you down. I have a feeling you won't but,I'm just sayin'...

sandmoran said...

if you blog about
puppies being cute, then the
cat lovers attack!

onegypsee said...

Hi Chris, I think you have given all of us the real inside scoop of the AI workings. It is so true that fame is a fleeting thing. I thought you had a very beautiful voice and I am glad that you are successful. I am a fan of Adam Lambert's because of the song choices he made on AL. I only hope that his new CD will reflect some of the same. If he wanders too far away from the songs that we all loved to hear him sing, I just wonder if he will remain as popular as he is now. So many artists make very different choices when they are signed and that is where I think some have made mistakes. So many guys and gals of AI are so very talented and I am so sorry that some have not been more successful. I think your blog is basically a reality check meant to help not hinder. Thanks for caring so much and making things so much more real and clear for those of us who just blindly vote for our favorites. Good luck Chris may you success grow and continue.

Michele said...

Chris, I followed your article linked in NY Daily News, and was totally delighted to read your lucid insight and reality of the business.

Firstly, congratulations on following your work ethic and intelligence, following your heart, and doing what you love. You are one of the real success stories for being privileged to do what you love to do and handling your career realistically.

Your advise is golden, whether some will criticize your brutal honesty. Not even winners of AI are guarenteed superstar status. I won't mention names, but, there are more winners that are destined to become discarded in the next five years, than those like Carrie Underwood or the one or two other real stars in the bunch.

Mostly, it is a reality game show, and no matter how much we enjoyed cutey-pies like Allison (whatever-her-last-name=was...) or whoever, the odds are stacked against them. Even my favorite, Adam Lambert, faces daunting odds if he fails to diligently pursue the right direction and connects to his fans.

After last season, I was pretty burned out on Idol and vowed not to invest any more emotion in this gimmicky show. I still may watch, but, I have a feeling Ellen is going to annoy me worse than Paula talking over Simon.

Idol was great for years, but, maybe it's run out of steam? The only true formula for success in music is a lottery mix of luck, connections, hard work, and the right talent at the right time and at the right place. You have a greater shot at winning the lottery than making it in music, unless you are realistic, like you are, and work your ass off.

Congratulations Chris, and may God continue to bless you. You have a light that shouldn't be hidden, and keep on shining it.
As you see by the blogosphere, you're a beacon.

gdahimself said...


On one side there are those who think Chris’s positively sterling on the advice it offers and on the other is those who think Chris is Arrogant, cocky, delusional, and/or self aggrandizing, expressed in varying degrees of combativeness. All more than willing to share and/or defend their position. I understand the former, not quite so the latter.

Ain't blogging wonderful.

Chris Unthank said...

Chris - I know we've butted heads in the past but I have to give you major props for this blog entry. Not only is this sound advice for those coming off of shows like this - but just plain solid advice for ANYONE wanting to pursue a career in music.

I both work in this industry and am a struggling writer/artist - so I see both sides of this industry - and you've done a fantastic job of narrowing down the major things to work on and cultivate. Are there even more things that someone should be doing that you didn't list? Absolutely. But this is solid ground in which to gain your footing.

Good job.

risalea said...

Indeed, GDA! Blogging is wonderful, how else would a guy in New Jersey make friends with ladies in AL, FL, AR, NY, AZ, CA, KS, etc. without ever meeting them in person! (and I know I left out states...had to stop somewhere) And once again, welcome to everyone and we hope you'll come back around.

ChrisSligh said...

First off,

DJ, apologies...I wasn't trying to be condescending or anything while apologizing for you. Just knew you didn't mean what she was saying/thinking and wanted her to know immediately in case it was a while before you got back

Second off, Unthank...dude, in my mind we got past everything last year at GMA...I'm cool if you're cool. Thanks for the props on the article. Anyone who's trying to make it in this business needs to hear it. But especially Idols...I think those that are trying to make it in the "real world" (i.e., outside the Idol bubble) learn this stuff a little quicker. It seems like the Idols traditionally have a false sense of security in thinking that Idol will do something for them that it won't. It seems harsh to say what I said about them simply being game show contestants, but it's real. I say that b/c I've had someone actually say that to me. Tough to hear, yes...but real.

I actually feel like I've been lucky to not have been in the sheltered Idol world. Some of the Idol winners and runners ups have been dropped and b/c of being sheltered haven't had any idea what to do afterward. There is one in particular that I'm thinking of that is literally one of the most talented Idols ever, both vocally and writing wise but never connected...and didn't know what to do outside the Idol system.


Leah said...

I come home from work and there are still all kinds of stuff happening here! Crazy! It seems like Chris is all over the web. I guess the media has really picked up on this post Chris wrote and have run with it. It is interesting to see how many different versions of what Chris said are out there. I wish that folks were actually reading the entire post before leaving comments. I have a feeling that those who are accusing Chris of being bitter and arrogant are only reading the shorten version at the other websites and then coming over here to comment. I think those positive comments are coming from those who are actually reading the whole thing.

I admire your courage to stand up to those people who can't quite express themselves without using words that automatically detract from their intelligence. It is OK to disagree people, but please leave name calling for the playground. I also am impressed how you stood up for your fellow 2%. Bravo!!
Your comment "...sometimes my fans can be a little overprotective...sorry about that...they mean well, for sure."--- is the first thing you have said that, well, didn't sit well with me. Sorry, but I just don't think you should ditz a fan on a public forum. Especially a 2%. I am going to assume that you didn't mean it that way but it sure did come across that way to me. I doubt very seriously if the Karen person will ever go and buy your CD or come to one of your shows. Most likely she won't even be back at this blog once all the hype has died down. Sad. You might have smoothed her ruffled feathers but it might have been at a cost. Trust me on this one, I work in family therapy and I am probably not off base by saying I think you have caused hurt feelings.
Ooops, I broke my own rule about giving unsolicited advice. Sorry about that, hazard of what I do for a living.
Well, this entire buzz is definitely good for you Chris. In the music business you definitely want people to know your name. I think a lot of people have gotten reacquainted with you in the past 48 hours. If this sort of fame is not what you wanted, well not to worry, it will eventually all die down and folks will get wrapped up in the newest season of American Idol---- unless you write something like this again.

Leah said...

My apologies to you. My post came in after you had posted your comment to DJ and I didn't see yours. I guess I was still typing mine. So hats off to you for "getting it" and major kudos for rectifying the situation.
Your a class act!

ChrisSligh said...

No problem, thing my fans know about me is that I'm pretty thick-skinned...didn't hurt my feelings at all.

I do hate someone being wrong. That's my weakness...if I see someone being dumb, I feel the need to fight it with the truth. I simply hate people being stupid. It's definitely a bad thing...I fight stupidity too much...or I guess in a less "arrogant" way - I fight what I see as stupidity too much.

Anyway, Leah, thanks again for stopping by...I really hope you stay and join the 2% lol...they really are incredible people.


risalea said...

Leah, hey, feel right at home, we give Chris and each other unsolicited advice ALL the time! ; )

DJ in AL said...

Chris, yea, yea, whatever, just don't let it happen again or I'll get Leah after you, LOL!

Seriously, policing this blog all day has wiped me out, can somebody else in the 2% please take over for the rest of the night?

Cathy Storms said...

My oh my this blog has been interesting the last couple of days.

DJ~you are my hero!! I really admire the way you have stood up for Chris today. Every time I wanted to say something on the blog, work seemed to get in the way.

Leah~I really do hope you stick around and become part of the 2percent. As Chris said we are incredible

As a wise person once told me, any kind of publicitity is good and you are sure getting all kinds of publicitity on this one.

ChrisSligh said...

You know, as bad as the press tried to make the blog look, I just had the chance to check out comments (I've been on my iPhone and no time to read comments) - actually a majority of the people reading these articles are defending my article. It's weird. My faith in internet readers is restored. LOL.

I guess just from all the people talking trash, I thought that these people were just coming over after commenting on their respective online posts. But actually not true. Nice.

So, even though some people have misread the post, for the most part people have enjoyed the post and see it as a good thing.

I just honestly hope that the Idols from this year read it. I believe that if they can take something away from this, it will truly truly help their career.


risalea said...

You've been getting really positive tweets, too...

I have to believe most folks are fairly level-headed and can recognize the truth when they see it.

I hope the Idols will take your advice to heart. It's not easy going from total obscurity to fame, then to be thrown back to earth with a hard thud. (Maybe you should have thrown in your "Empty Me" lyrics along with the post) : )

Now, MOVE AWAY from the computer and the iPhone and enjoy a quiet, peaceful evening with Sarah! (See, Leah, there's some of that unsolicited advice-it just pops out!)

Cathy Storms said...

Most of the comments I have read have been very positive. Very nice.

Yes Risa, the lyrics to "Empty Me" would of been a nice touch. Those are some words to live by...

Now as Auntie Risa says, go spend some nice quality time with Sarah. You deserve it after a day like today I'm sure...

DJ in AL said...

I know you thought I'd called it a day, but you know me- gotta get my 2 cents in. Wanted to say that I too, with trepidation visited the sites carrying the piece and tried to look at the comments from an unbiased perspective (yes I can almost be unbiased when pushed) in most instances the support was in your favor 2 to 1. That's fairly impressive considering it was delivered with a fair amount of bluntness which apparently stopped some readers from reading the entire article before your made your point.

Most impressive to me were the positive comments by those in the music industry or those trying to get into the music industry, which I guess at the end of the day were the ones you were trying to reach in the first place.

Geez dude, did you have any idea your keystrokes would cause this kind of drama?

Chris Unthank said...

I know we talked about it - just wanted to make sure you didn't think I was trying to leave some kind of snotty, condescending post.

I really appreciated this blog entry.

Carmen said...

Well Chris,
This has been interesting. I think the last time I saw this much hubub about you was when you left the show and what you said was taken out of context and misunderstood. Kinda of like now. Ah the good times!
Spent theis evening reading comments that have been posted here and at other websites and for the most part things have been positive. It seems most of the negative comments have come from those people who did not read the entire blog.
And to all those folks giving you crap Chris? I like this advice:
Ashton Kutcher said:
"A lot of people can't deal with me being famous and shit, so they got themselves crossed off the party list, dog! It's a real drag sometimes, but I try not to let it affect me, you know?"
So cross them off your party list and don't let it affect you!

Anonymous said...

Good post, Chris.
I think you've walked the walk, and made yourself available for the 2% of us who appreciate you as a person as well as a musician, so for what it's worth, you continue to have my support!:-)

I tend to look at the Idols as people, who are getting to do what they love. Their successes make me really glad for them. Music is sort of a calling, and nope, it's not easy. I wish them all well.

Philip Clark said...

Fantastic! This is great advice, not just for the Idols but for anyone really trying to live as a musician. This is serious wisdom here. Thank you for writing this and not sugar-coating it!

Philip Clark

Anonymous said...

I really stopped watching the show after the first month 7 years ago. I saw this on blog on yahoo and wanted to say wow , great way to look at it. I didn't even know who you are till I saw it. I hope you make a really living at it that pays the bills and leave you with some funny money. Maybe a nice classic car , A house and 2.4 kids. What you said is the truth because of the 10000 hour rule. It take that long to be good at anything. The Beatles didn't just make it, they spent years in Germany playing 8 hours a day. The guess who spent 3 years on CBC dance show as the backing band. It wouldn't shock me to find out you to one day will make it. Hay I might even listen to you music on facebook etc to see if I like it. As for the show, hell I known better singers in bars and churches whom never ever will be on it.

Kelly said...

Chris, this is great stuff. And I tell you this as one of the 2% out there running a fan site (or two) for Brooke White. The kid has an album out and is on tour right now, and a year ago our site ( was overflowing with fans and people who could not get enough of her. There were 12 active myspace fanpages.

Now the only sound you hear on the site is chirping crickets as most have gone on to the next flavor of the month. The two percenters still with me on the street team are incredibly devoted folks who are working their butts off to help her. My myspace fanpage ( is the last one active. I'm going to go see her in Des Moines in a week and I hope and pray the house is full.

It's no surprise that her best-selling song came off her one (and I'm sure last) Idol appearance last March, other songs on her CD were better than it in my opinion but they did not sell as well.

I wish you well and to be frank, I'm the two percent of every Idol out there because I support all of you as much as I can. And I'm going to take this column and send it to Brooke ... she's a smart kid with a good business head whom once I got to know is an even better human being and someone I now call a friend because I've busted her chops a couple of times on things, but there are things in there she can learn from as well.

If you ever come to my town, I'll be sure to come and shake your hand.

Seth J said...

Hey Chris.

Saw this on E!'s website. Big ups!

You have nothing to apologize for, you're telling it like it is. I've been your typical struggling actor and musician (ten years in a band and four years in stage acting) I can tell all the people reading here that you know whereof you speak.

Let's be clear: making it in entertainment has never been easy and it certainly won't be in years to come, Idol or not.

AI is geared for TV audiences, not music fans. It's a throwback to the old variety shows of yesteryear, and also one of the few shows an entire family can watch together.

It also has something in common with sports teams: people support the Sooners, Lakers, Jets, Red Sox -- whoever regardless of who's on the field and the same goes for AI. The mass audience is there for the brand and the drama of the competition.

It would be interesting to see how some of the performers would have done if this show came out pre-Napster. But since we are living in the age we do, no Idol, (nor any other fledgling musicians) should expect to make a living on record sales alone.

I think that is why there is excitement about Lambert. Every review I've read about the AI tour this year said the same thing: He stole the show, which means he definitely has an after-life as a live act, which is where the $$$ is going to be. (Along with publishing, producing and outside songwriting. Keep doin' that!)

One absolutely has to become self-sufficient as a musician and handle all of your own business as much as possible. Rappers and punk rockers do it all the time -- starting from the ground up and building a following.

You are brave to be telling former (and possibly future) contestants this -- Heaven knows the people closest to them aren't going to!

Hal said...

Dear Chris,

I just wanted to comment on the facinating read. I've been a fan of AI since season 1 and your article was very interesting and you hit on alot of very real issues that post idol contestants face.

I was a huge Justin Guirini fan, and was totally dismayed as a fan, that his star not only fizzled, but got blasted. It gave me a reality check right away that being on AI is not a gaurentee gateway to stardom.

Now I know Justin is doing fairly well, at least as far as making a living, but he too put in alot of the hard work you were just talking about.

You were one of my favorites during your season and purchased a couple of your songs on iTunes. I play "Vessel" and "empty me" regularly on my iPod and enjoy not only your writing skills, but your voice as well as your humble persona.

I hope the contestants and future contenstants take heed of your advise. I wish I was 20 years younger or I too would attempt my fate on auditioning for AI.

Great read Chris and continue with the hard work. Remember, their still alot of us who do remember you and look forward to your future works.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is a very well thought-out article. I was in the music biz for a while and all this rings true. Out of everyone, I most hated dealing with the corporate people. They are in it for the money (understandably) and could care less about the artisitc side of it.

julie said...

Wow, Chris. So well done.

To the fans who are offended, I suggest you reread. He isn't saying your faves aren't talented or that they deserve to be used and thrown out by the system. He's saying that's what happens, despite their talent, and he's offering his own road-tested advice on how to get past that. I hope they heed it, BECAUSE they are talented and because I would like to see them have a chance to do that wonderful thing, make a living at what they love.

Anonymous said...

I'll keep this short...Great Advice!! I hope the signed and the unsigned read it from somebody who's been there and done that! Thanks for putting it out there, Chris.

George said...

I am actually VERY surprised that people dismiss Taylor Hicks as a failure. Do you guys know that he is the current #10 earner of ALL Idol alumni according to Forbes magazine.
Granted, he made "only" 0.3 million last year but he clearly doesn't need to rent a cheap apartment ;)

Here's the full list:

The Year's Top-Earning 'Idols'

No. 1: Carrie Underwood
$14 million

No. 2: Jennifer Hudson
$5 million

No. 3: Kelly Clarkson
$4.2 million

No. 4: Jordin Sparks
$3.1 million

No. 5: Kellie Pickler
$2.3 million

No. 6: Clay Aiken
$2.2 million

No. 7: Chris Daughtry
$2 million

No. 8: David Cook
$2 million

No. 9: David Archuleta
$1.3 million

No. 10: Taylor Hicks

HstryQT said...

Phew! That's the LAST time I get myself wrapped up too much in school/work and skip my Sligh-blog-checking! Good golly look at all that I missed!

Wonderful advice and I'm glad to see that it went to the far reaches of MJ's and Rickey's and also VFTW (I'm assuming, must have with this notoriety!) Every Idol alum is wise to listen to any advice you're willing to give - and it's obvious you put a lot of time and thought into this post, as well as the later posts & comments.

I skimmed the 195! comments and think I hit the major points. Brought me back to the good ole days where we had to stand up to the crazies all the time. Where's the popcorn?

WELCOME new blogger-girls and guys!! So happy to see so many fans stopping by and joining us (now infamous?) 2%! :)

Welcome Leah! I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the ladies & gents here and this really is such a wonderful, loving little community that Sligh has created here. And I hope you have the pleasure of meeting him in person, as we have! It is true that Sligh responds often to the negative-nellies (as pointed out), but he makes up for it when we fans hang out in person. And he's also made up for it by giving you a warm welcome here, as well :).

OK and Risa, DJ & Cathy - next time I'm missing out on all the fun, you better shoot me a facebook message. For real! Not cool :).

DJ in AL said...


Um yea, so I wish I had time to monitor your participation level on the blog but here's the thing, I have a Life!

And to be honest I didn't even realize you were MIA! Sorry!

randomx6 said...

My word - such a big brouhaha over a career advice column. Just want to say that the writing was clear, honest and to the point and I think if you look at the Idols with significant (or potentially significant) careers in the business they all did what you suggest. Z-100 (NYC) the other day pointed out that you don't have to be a star to be a working musician.

Cathy Storms said...

Lori~Guess I missed the part where we were supposed to keep you informed of going on's with the blog.
Oh so sorry...

Market Research Services said...

While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

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