LOS ANGELES Popular "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta has signed a record deal and is expected to release an album later this year, his new producers at 19 Recordings/Jive Records said on Thursday.
With a record deal in hand, 17-year-old crooner Archuleta joins past "Idol" also-rans such as Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken who have leveraged their stardom on hit television show "Idol" into record, film and Broadway fame.
This season Archuleta was widely expected to win the No. 1-rated TV talent show, but he lost to rival David Cook on the program's final episode in May by 12 million votes.
Simon Fuller, creator of "American Idol" and founder of 19 Entertainment Label Group, said Archuleta instantly won over a huge audience and has a great future ahead of him.
"It was fascinating to watch David's journey through 'Idol.' He is a genuine pop star, and is a gifted singer," Fuller said in a statement.
Daughtry, Hudson and Aiken all lost in past seasons, too.
Daughtry currently has a hit album. Hudson won a supporting actress Oscar for her role in movie musical "Dreamgirls," and Aiken has appeared on Broadway in "Spamalot," among his various credits since "Idol."
The show averaged about 27 million viewers a week this season.