‘Idol’ Star Dropped by Label: ‘I Hate Sharing My Failures’

Laci Kaye Booth

ABC/YouTube Laci Kaye Booth during Hollywood Week on "American Idol"

From the outside looking in, 2022 has seemed like an incredible year for “American Idol” alum Laci Kaye Booth, from being named one of CMT’sNext Women of Country” to performing at the CMC Rocks Festival in Australia. But the singer-songwriter just revealed that despite how good things seem, she’s been hiding one very big secret: she recently lost her major record deal.


Booth Says She Felt ‘Embarrassed’ but Is Forging a New Path

Laci Kaye Booth

GettyLaci Kaye Booth performs during CMT’s “Night Out In Nashville” in August 2022.

On September 29, following two shows in Australia, she uploaded a nearly three-minute video on TikTok to come clean about the big change in her career. The native Texan, who moved to Nashville after placing fifth on season 17, started by apologizing for not releasing the music she’s been teasing on social media, saying that there was a good reason for the holdup.

“I have a really good explanation for it, and it’s something that happened a couple of months ago … and I’ve just been kind of embarrassed to share it, I guess,” she said. “I hate sharing my failures. I’m a Virgo, so, about right, right?”

In astrology, Virgos — those born between August 22 and September 22 — are said to have a strong tendency toward perfectionism and hate to admit to mistakes or failures, according to Bustle. That clearly resonates for Booth, so it took her some time to process and grow willing to reveal the whole truth in her video.

“I got dropped from my label,” she said, looking straight into the camera. “The first label in town that I signed with, the first label I met three years ago when I came to Nashville. And goodness, there’s still a lot of people over there at that label that I love so I won’t say anything bad. I won’t speak ill of nobody.”

The sudden shift blindsided Booth, though, and she needed time to digest it. And with her new status as an independent artist, Booth said she suddenly felt a new sense of creative freedom.

“I do want to say that when I got dropped, I took a month off of everything and I recorded so many songs,” she shared. “It just opened up my whole mind, body, spirit, my eyes. I finally saw who I was supposed to be as an artist, my vision that I’ve had since I was a little girl was finally here. And it makes me emotional to talk about! But I feel like women in the industry, for some reason, we don’t always get to have creative control like we should as artists.”

She continued, “So, I just wanted to say that. I just wanted to say that I have been going through some failures lately, what I feel like is a failure, and I created something good out of it. And if anybody else is going through the same thing, there’s always going to be blessings and good around every corner and I pray that on you.”

After a brief pause, Booth raised her voice and confidently stated the three things she hoped her fans would take away from her video: “Women need to have creative control, I have new music coming out as an independent artist, I love y’all!”


Fans Flood Booth With Support & Think She May Be Better Off

Two years after Booth was on “American Idol,” host Ryan Seacrest announced on-air she’d landed a major record deal in May 2020, back when the whole season 18 cast was filming from home due to the pandemic. At the time, she posted on Instagram that the deal made her “the happiest girl on earth.”

Booth was signed to Big Machine Records, with former “Idol” mentor Scott Borchetta at the helm, and 19 Entertainment, which is a music production company founded by “Idol” creator Simon Fuller. But she’s not alone in finding herself stranded, given that numerous “Idol” alumni — and even Taylor Swift — have parted ways with one or both companies due to “creative differences” over the past decade.

In 2012, season 10’s Pia Toscano lost her deal with 19 Entertainment and her label, Interscope; after a decade of touring, she’s finally releasing her first solo album independently. In 2020, season 16 winner Maddie Poppe was dropped by 19 Entertainment and Hollywood Records, which left her feeling lost, she told People. She is now on the rebound, too, releasing new music and touring.

The most highly publicized rift, however, was when season 11 winner Phillip Phillips sued 19 Entertainment in 2015 and settled in 2017, finally able to control his artistry and release new music. Meanwhile, season 18 winner Samantha Diaz — known as Just Sam — has said getting out of her deal with Hollywood Records and 19 Entertainment left her broke.

As for Big Machine Records, in 2017, season 14 winner Nick Fradiani left the label after five years, saying it “wasn’t the right fit.” Big Machine also parted ways with season 15 winner Trent Harmon.

Given all the drama “Idol” alum have experienced with record labels, many fans rallied around Booth after her vulnerable video to tell her brighter days are ahead.

One fan wrote, “Your label really messed up. But when one door closes…..So glad I found you and your music! Do what you gotta do. I’ll be here!”

Another wrote, “your are not a failure!! this is the universes way of getting you on the right path! can’t wait to hear your new music”

“Their loss. And they’re going to regret it. You are amazing,” someone commented.

Booth did ask fans for one favor while she navigates life as an independent artist: pre-save the song she never got to release called “Damn Good in a Dive Bar.”

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