Josiah Leming says he’ll release his album in January despite Idol threat

Josiah Leming was cut during American Idol 7‘s Hollywood round, yet became one of the show’s early break-out stars, in part because he was living out of his car, used his fame–among other things, he made thousands of dollars and amassed a bunch of fake friends–to land a deal with a record label, but the producers of the show are trying to stop its release.

As a result, he got a manager, Dan Spilo, who “landed Leming a recording and publishing deal with Warner Bros. Records,” The Los Angeles Times reports. He also now has “an apartment five blocks from the beach and two cars.”

Josiah’s EP Angels Undercover, was released Tuesday, and his album is due in January.

After the show, the high school dropout wasn’t exactly warm toward the producers, insisting in an interview with MTV News that “I wanted to stand on my voice, and my own two feet, but they wanted to know about the story and they wanted to use it.” Maybe that’s why they’re now trying to stop his album from being released.

Now, The New York Post reports that he “received an official letter from ‘Idol’ threatening legal action if he puts out his record in January as planned. That’s reportedly because of the show’s contract, which says the production company gets right of first refusal on signing a contestant to a record deal.

Josiah’s PR rep told the paper, “Josiah was the only ‘Idol’ contestant ever to get a record deal who didn’t make the top 24, and one of only four contestants to get a deal this year. He has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not.” The reason, she said, before insisting that his album will be released: “His mother has terminal cancer.”

His rep told Radar, “He has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not. Josiah is determined to get his album on shelves while [his mother] is alive to share it.”

‘American Idol’ castoff Josiah Leming’s big recovery [Los Angeles Times]
No ‘Idol’ Threat Over Album [New York Post]
American Idol Means Business [Radar]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.