‘American Idol’ notes: Laine Hardy has COVID-19, Scotty McCreery lands 3rd No. 1 in row, Kelly Clarkson’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star

AMERICAN IDOL - "217" - The journey to find the next superstar continues as the remaining five Idol hopefuls leave it all on the stage, singing their hearts out to win America's vote and land themselves a spot in the coveted "American Idol" season finale. In this episode, each contestant will perform three songs: a pick from in-house mentor, Bobby Bones; a song dedicated to their heroes in honor of Mother's Day; and a selection from Elton John's world-renowned catalog. To help prepare for this week's theme, contestants will be the first to watch the highly anticipated feature film "Rocketman," an epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Elton John's breakthrough years. The jam-packed Idol episode airs SUNDAY, MAY 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT/5:00-7:01 p.m. PDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) LAINE HARDY

Credit: Eric McCandless

Credit: Eric McCandless

Season 17 “American Idol” winner Laine Hardy announced he has COVID-19 but the symptoms have been mild.

His girlfriend Sydney Taylor and bodyguard Patrick Bedwell also have the virus, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. (Wait... Hardy has a bodyguard?)

"Although my symptoms are mild, I am following the doctor’s orders to quarantine at home and concentrate on getting better," Hardy posted online. "I’m bummed to say that I will have to delay the start of my summer #vTour dates. I just want to be in the best condition for y’all when I play!"

Bedwell posted on Facebook: "Well day 2 of quarantine is drawing to an end. Laine and I both are still unable to taste or smell anything at all. We are still doing well and waiting to wake tomorrow and be able to taste food. … Sydney is well also. But we are not happy with her because she can taste and smell."


Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery nine years ago won “American Idol” at age 17. Very few teen males ever break it big in country music. He had a couple of modest hits early on, clearly an afterglow from his ‘American Idol” victory.

Then he went to work. He toured. He learned the business. He made the right connections. And he grew as a person and musician as he entered his 20s. He married his long-time girlfriend in 2018.

Now at age 26, he just landed his third No. 1 single in a row on country radio with “In Between.” This follows “Five More Minutes” and “This is It.” They all come from his 2018 album “Seasons Change.” (Yes, he’s on just his third single from an album that was released in March 2018. That’s how slow the charts move in country radio nowadays.)

He explained the song: “Everyone’s not all one thing or all the other. We all have many facets to our lives and different things we enjoy. It’s about knowing who you are and finding what’s right for you. I wrote ‘In Between’ about really finding that balance and being happy with it.”

He signed with Triple Tigers/Sony in 2018 after leaving Mercury. It was clearly a good move.

Following social distancing guidelines during the pandemic, Scotty has already held 80-plus live-stream performances ranging from Twitch Stream Aid, “Circle Sessions,” “Feed the Front Line Live, Presented by CMT” and numerous Facebook and Instagram Live events with country radio stations across the nation and media outlets, which he has dubbed his “Somewhere in Quarantine Tour.”


Kelly Clarkson, still reeling from her pending divorce, did receive some good news: she is going to get a Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

Others in 2021 receiving stars in the music performance category: The Chi-Lites, Missy Elliott, Ana Gabriel, Jefferson Airplane, the Judds, Don McLean, Salt-N-Pepa and Trisha Yearwood.

Clarkson has continued her chart hits with “I Dare You” at No. 16 on the Mediabase Hot AC chart.

And she has moved back to Los Angeles to tape more episodes of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

On Wednesday’s show, she discussed mental health issues with Demi Lovato.

"I love how open you are about mental health because I have similar issues, and I suffer from depression," Clarkson said. "I think a lot of people, especially in the creative world or just from childhood even, [are] kind of trained to just keep going and 'you can handle it,' especially as a woman it's like, 'Don't let them see you sweat.'"

She has continued Kellyoke remotely. Here’s a sampling, including Lisa Loeb, the Ronettes, Etta James and TLC:


Season 7 “Idol” winner David Cook has released a single that, based on the title, sounds like a political conversion but isn’t: “Reds Turn Blue.”

It’s a reference to the manic highs and lows of anxiety, something David has struggled with over the past decade.

“This song became a therapeutic process for me, as a way to personify my anxiety and make it something other than me — which in an odd way has helped me navigate my relationship with it,” Cook told People magazine.


In other “Idol” alum briefs:

- Queen is pondering a live album with Adam Lambert for their 50th anniversary, according to Roger Taylor.

- Clay AIken is now doing a political-oriented podcast called "How the Heck Are We Gonna Get Along." He ran for a House seat in 2014 in North Carolina as a Democrat and lost.

- This Saturday, a pandemic fundraiser on NBC hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will include a virtual performance by Jennifer Hudson.

- Carrie Underwood’s “Drinking Alone,” a wonderful but unorthodox song for country radio, muscled its way into the top 10 — barely — peaking at No. 9 on the Mediabase 24/7 charts. It’s now at 15 in its 32nd week on the chart.

- Lauren Alaina’s “Getting Good” peaked at No. 33 on the same chart and has since slipped to 38.

- Gabby Barrett’s former No. 1 country single “I Hope” was remixed to become a duet with Charlie Puth and is now No. 23 on the Hot AC airplay chart and No. 26 on the Top 40 pop chart.

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