Earlier this decade, prior to going on American Idol, Kristy Lee Cook was signed to a developmental deal with Arista Nashville. Seen by many as a ‘plant’ on the show last season, Cook was the defacto “country” singer for 2008. After finishing in the Top 5, Cook was quickly signed to a record deal with 19/Arista. While the Nashville label worked to get her album out as quickly as possible, radio didn’t really jump at the chance to promote miss Cook.
Part of the problem she faced with her debut album “Why Wait” was the fact that she recorded it in only 4 days prior to going on the idol tour and then she couldn’t do the traditional radio promotional tours because of the Idol concert tour. This resulted in her single “15 Minutes of Fame” to fail to move past the Top 30 at radio and thus left Arista wondering if they really had something or not. Considering Cook was the first American Idol 2008 contestant to see their album get released (before even the two Davids, Archuleta and Cook), her sub-100,000 sales mark has certainly been unimpressive. So, it’s easy to see that Sony Nashville wasn’t really seeing her as an artist worthy of continuing to promote as they had other artists, like Crystal Shawanda, where they’ve had more development time and money into the artist.
While this probably signals the end of her chance at a successful recording career, perhaps Kristy Lee Cook will find another label to promote her and it is quite possible that she asked out of her deal with Arista after they didn’t focus on her as much as she liked. The label, knowing they had a ‘dud’ in this case, probably was more than happy to oblige her.