After placing third on season 21 of “American Idol,” southern rock crooner Colin Stough is on top of the world. In less than a year, the 19-year-old has gone from being an HVAC repairman in his tiny town of Gattman, Mississippi, to a rising country star in Nashville with famous friends to boot. And on September 29, 2023, he announced that his first-ever album will be released in a matter of weeks.
Here’s what you need to know:
Colin Stough’s Debut Album to Be Released on October 20
After the May 2023 season finale of “Idol,” Stough signed a record deal with 19 Entertainment, the division of BBR Music and BMG that works with “Idol” winners and other finalists its executives believe have major potential in the music industry. The label will release Stough’s six-song EP, bearing the same title as his recent single “Promiseland,” on October 20.
The fast-tracked album release is a testament to how much potential 19 Entertainment sees in Stough. He’ll have a debut album out with the label before “Idol” winner Iam Tongi, who just released his new single “Why Kiki?” Meanwhile, 19 Entertainment didn’t release Noah Thompson’s debut album, which also featured six songs, until June 2023, more than a year after he won season 20 of show.
19 Entertainment has supported and promoted Stough steadily since his run on “Idol,” calling him “one of the most buzzed about newcomers in country music today” in its press release about the new album. After the “Idol” finale, they sent a team to New York with him after he won a fan-voted contest, giving one finalist to perform on “Live With Kelly & Mark.” They’ve also connected him with songwriters in Nashville to develop new music with, and released his three recent singles.
Each of the top five “Idol” contestants got to release a song via 19 Entertainment in the final week of competition. Stough released “I Still Talk to Jesus” and performed it on the show. It wound up reaching the number five spot on Billboard’s Country Digital Song Sales Charts and number 18 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales Charts, according to 19 Entertainment.
Stough has since released two additional singles, “Promiseland” and the brand new “Lonely Hour,” both of which will appear on the new album.
While settling in Nashville, Stough has also received encouragement and guidance from other country stars, including living for a while with rising star Chase Matthew, and connecting with artists like red-hot Jelly Roll and The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston, one of his favorite songwriters.
Colin Stough Releases New Single ‘Lonely Hour’
Stough’s newest single, “Lonely Hour,” was released on September 29. In a statement, he said the ballad addresses the loneliest moments after a couple splits.
“There are these moments after a breakup where everything kind of settles and the loneliness kicks in,” he said. “It’s those moments after the day winds down before the night sets in and you can fall asleep. The moments where you can’t stop thinking about everything and you finally start feeling all of the pain and loss that comes after a relationship has run its course. It’s the lonely hour.”
19 Entertainment released a music video for the new single, filmed in a dimly-lit hotel room.
“This song is a melancholic one and what’s more melancholy than sitting in an old motel with everything you own packed in a suitcase as the sun is setting,” Stough said. “It’s loneliness at its deepest. That’s the feeling we wanted to capture in this video. It’s meant to be kind of simple but vulnerable, and honestly, just kind of sad.”