‘American Idol’ Metalhead JAMES DURBIN Signs Record Deal

James Durbin, the 22-year-old rocker from Santa Cruz, California who was one of the finalists on the last season of “American Idol”, has inked a deal with Wind-Up Records (EVANESCENCE, CREED).

Commented Gregg Wattenberg, Wind-Up‘s Chief Creative Officer, “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.”

Durbin performed JUDAS PRIEST‘s classic songs “Living After Midnight” and “Breaking The Law” with the British heavy metal legends themselves during the “American Idol” May finale.

Durbin sang the JUDAS PRIEST classic “You Got Another Thing Coming” on the March 1 edition of “Idol” (see video below). His rendition marked the first time, according to AEROSMITH singer and “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler, where a JUDAS PRIEST single was performed on the “Idol” stage.

Asked if there was any trepidation about letting Durbin take on their 1982 hit, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton told MTV, “None whatsoever, I mean, if you look at what James has done for heavy metal, you’ve got to say thank you, you know? It’s just bringing metal to the front, making it, metal, accessible for people. It’s a good thing.”

As for whether there will ever be a collaboration between the fourth-place finalist and the British band, PRIEST singer Rob Halford was optimistic, saying, “Yeah, anything’s possible.”

“We just wish him all the best,” he added. “He’s got such an extraordinary voice. He’s got such a genuine and lovable personality. He’s the real deal, James, and we wish him the best. Good for you, James!”

Durbin told USA Today in May that he was planning to record an album, with what he described as a “[DIO] ‘Holy Diver’, [BLACK SABBATH] ‘Neon Knights’-type” feel. “I potentially heard my first single yesterday,” he said, adding that it “still has a heavy edge and is radio friendly.” He also wrote a song with James Michael (SIXX: A.M., SCORPIONS, MÖTLEY CRÜE) and frequent AEROSMITH collaborator Marti Frederiksen.