Life After ‘Idol’: Chris Medina Finds a Home on Interscope

by | February 24, 2011 at 3:42 PM | American Idol, Eye on Idol

Chris Medina auditions for "American Idol." (Photo: Fox)

Chris Medina auditions for "American Idol." (Photo: Fox)

Chris Medina, the 26-year-old barista from the Midwest who captured America’s hearts, only to be shown the door in an emotional exit on last night’s “American Idol,” has recorded “What Are Words,” a song written especially for him by hit producer Rodney Jerkins. It will come out on 19 Recordings through Interscope.

The release is Idol’s first through its new recording deal with UMG after being on Sony Music for the first nine years of the Fox show’s existence. Interscope’s veteran label head Jimmy Iovine, who was prominently featured on last night’s Vegas episode, is an industry mentor on the show this year.

The song, based on Medina’s moving story of his wheelchair-bound fiancée Juliana, injured in an automobile accident on the eve of their wedding, was recorded just this week, and will debut on tonight’s show.

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The song will be made available digitally immediately after tonight’s episode. A video, shot last weekend, will premiere at 2 p.m. (ET), Friday on www.aol.com. Medina will also perform the tune on Friday’s “Tonight Show.”

Jerkins, a hitmaker who has worked with Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige, among others, was so touched by Medina’s story he penned “What are Words” for Medina to record.

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“To go from a mass audition in Milwaukee to the ‘American Idol’ stage in Hollywood and then to record an original song by and for Rodney Jerkins has been an amazing journey not just for me but for Juliana,” said Medina. “To be able to work in the studio with someone of his stature was a dream come true.”

Added Jerkins: “When I heard the story of Chris and Juliana, the words and music just flowed. Sometimes a song is more than a song and that’s really true with ‘What Are Words.’”