Remember When ‘American Idol’ Rejected Kane Brown Because “They Didn’t Need Another Scotty McCreery”

Kane Brown is a prime example of perseverance. Before he notched 10 No. 1 singles and received numerous trophies from the American Music Awards, the country star was tirelessly posting cover songs on social media. Viral hits like Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance” earned him a sizable following that Brown eventually parlayed into a record deal. However, the “I Can Feel It” singer received his fair share of “no” before the “yes” finally came. And one of those “noes” came from American Idol judges.

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Why Did ‘American Idol’ Turn Down Kane Brown?

The heavily tatted Tennessee native has long nursed a determination to break into the music scene. Brown attended high school with American Idol season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina. After seeing how the singing competition show helped launch her career, the “Be Like That” singer decided to try his hand at reality TV.

Unfortunately, Brown did not find the same success as his classmate. The judges told him “they didn’t need another Scotty McCreery,” Brown said in a 2016 interview with Billboard. Ironically, it was a then 17-year-old McCreery who bested Brown’s friend Alaina in season 10. The now 30-year-old North Carolina native leveraged his victory into a highly successful career in country music. In fact, McCreery will return to the Idol stage tonight to perform his latest hit, “Cab in a Solo.”

Brown’s X Factor audition was more successful, but judges “tried to put me in a boy band, so I quit,” he told Billboard. “I went home and did my own American Idol with covers online.” 

Clearly, that worked. Brown’s 2015 single “Used to Love You Sober” needed only two days to reach No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Digital Songs chart. In January 2016, he signed a record deal with Sony Music Nashville. And in October 2017, Brown earned his first No. 1 single with “What Ifs” — featuring none other than Lauren Alaina.

Kane Brown Teases New Music With Marshmello

Brown’s most recent studio album, Different Man, came in September 2022. But the “Heaven” singer stirred anticipation April 17 among his social media following by hinting “the song of the summer” is on the way.

[RELATED: Kane Brown Announces 2024 In The Air Tour with Special Guests]

Brown later corrected himself on his Instagram stories, clarifying that “we” have the song of the summer. The “Worldwide Beautiful” artist tagged producer/DJ Marshmello. On Friday (April 25), Brown again teased the song with a side-by-side stitch of himself and Marshmello singing the track.

“WILL BE BLASTING THIS ALL SUMMER,” one fan wrote on X/Twitter.

Featured image by Manny Carabel/Getty Images

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