Gabby Barrett Scores Her First No. 1 Song With ‘I Hope’
One year ago, Gabby Barrett debuted "I Hope" on American Idol as an independent artist, hoping to build off the momentum of a third place finish in 2018. Today she's signed to a major label, has a debut album in her future and the No. 1 song on country radio.
Barrett's scorching breakup song is the top-ranked country song on both Billboard and Country Aircheck/Mediabase charts this week, making her the first female since 2017 to hit No. 1 with a debut single (Carly Pearce, "Every Little Thing"). Pearce recognized as much on social media:
Zachary Kale and Jon Nite helped Barrett write "I Hope," and she shared with People that they'd intended a more traditional breakup song, until Barrett turned to something a little more vengeful.
"The fact is that sometimes we hope for the worst when it comes to our exes," the 20-year-old tells the mag. "We would never voice that, but it wreaks [havoc] inside. This song now says the things that maybe you or I never said."
The message resonated quickly with audiences, first on American Idol, then on SiriusXM and eventually traditional radio, once she'd signed with Warner Music Nashville. A third place finish on America's most popular singing reality show is far from a guarantee of stardom these days. While once it seemed every finalist was promised a record deal and a shot, all but the winner — sometimes even the winner — fall back. You can be forgiven if you'd forgotten that Madison VanDenburg finished third in 2019.
See Country Stars on Idol Then and Now — Even Gabby Barrett Looks Different!