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Wind-Up Records Gives James Durbin A Chance

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

After weeks of rumor-milling, Wind-Up Records has officially announced that it's giving metal a chance. Yes, Durbinators, it's true: Scarf-tailed "American Idol" rocker James Durbin has finally been signed! This makes James the fifth Season 10 "Idol" contestant to land a record deal (after Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, of course, followed by Pia Toscano and Haley Reinhart), although he's the first S10 alum to seal a deal outside of Jimmy Iovine's Universal Records empire, going with Wind-Up instead.

I think James will be much better off taking the Wind-Up route. The rebellious metalhead, who covered Judas Priest and the Heavy Metal movie theme on "Idol" and sang Guns N' Roses on tour (and wanted to cover Dio, Motley Crue, and Skid Row), has made it clear that he hopes to follow in the motorcycle-booted footsteps of fellow fourth-place "Idol" rocker Chris Daughtry--that is, he DOESN'T want to go pop. So Wind-Up, the label of major crossover rock acts like Evanescence, Seether, Finger Eleven, Drowning Pool, and Creed, seems like the perfect home for someone with such stadium-sized ambitions.

"Wind-Up Records isn't a label, it's a family, and I wanted to be a part of that," James says in a new Wind-Up press release about his signing. "They are true music fans that want to see me have a long career as an artist. I couldn't have asked for more when signing a record deal."

Wind-Up CEO Edward Vetri states in the same press release: "We loved James on 'Idol.' We thought he was the standout performer from this season. His passion for rock music made him a natural fit for Wind-up Records." Adds Wind-Up's chief creative officer Gregg Wattenberg: "When the possibility of signing James Durbin to Wind-Up Records came up, we knew it was a no-brainer. James is a rock star. We're all excited to have him as part of the family and can't wait to let his fans hear his debut album."

James is currently working on that album, due out in November, with Howard Benson, who has produced such hard-hitting artists as My Chemical Romance, Motorhead, TSOL, Papa Roach, Flyleaf, Saliva, Ice-T's Body Count, P.O.D., and many more; Benson has also worked with Idols like Allison Iraheta, Kelly Clarkson, and, of course, Daughtry. And he even recorded '80s hair-metal headbangers Bang Tango, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Tuff back in the day! That totally rocks.

James will be co-managed by Red Light Management's Mark DiDia, 19 Entertainment general manager Josh Klemme (the former manager of Buckcherry and one of Steven Tyler's current managers; that also totally rocks), and 19 president Iain Pirie. Pirie states: "James wowed audiences on 'American Idol' with his dramatic and flamboyant style and he's proving to be a huge hit on this summer's 'American Idol' tour. We are thrilled to be working with our friends Howard Benson and the team at Wind-Up on James's debut album."

What's your reaction to this rockin' good news? Think James Durbin can replicate Chris Daughtry's success?

[photos courtesy of Fox]

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