By Ralphie Aversa | For Weekender

Ralphie Report: Haley Reinhart dishes on her new album, the last season of “American Idol” and gum

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Ralphie Aversa with “American Idol” contestant Haley Reinhart.
Submitted photos

Haley Reinhart has traveled an interesting path from “American Idol” finalist to independent solo artist. The Chicago-born songstress signed a deal with Interscope after her top 3 “Idol” finish and recorded her debut album “Listen Up!” That would be her only release under the label. Reinhart eventually joined fellow season 10 alum Casey Abrams in Postmodern Jukebox before stumbling upon the next chapter of her career, all thanks to a Windy City connection and a gum commercial.

“Wrigley and Extra Gum kind of sought me out and had me record the song kind of overnight and it worked out,” Reinhart explained of her new single, a cover of the Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” “It worked out, they put out the commercial, it blew up and now it’s being played on the radio.”

Sometimes the best plan is no plan, and that’s exactly what was in place for her song to receive radio airplay. Stations picked it up organically before Reinhart’s team began seeking out spins. For the most part, Reinhart seems to be enjoying the ride.

“I’d rather things take their own course and their own time to completely fall in to the right place,” she said. “I don’t like anything to be forced. So thankfully in this instance and in a lot of other cases, it’s overnight and you don’t expect it, and those are the greatest gifts.”

Reinhart’s gift to her fans will be the sophomore album “Better,” due out April 16.

“I actually had to hold back putting out the album because of all the buzz that’s happened around this single,” she revealed. “It’s been a labor of love for about three years or so now.”

And when it comes to entertainment, a lot can change in three years. As Reinhart prepares for a new chapter of her career, she and others will close the book on “Idol.” The TV competition wraps April 7. Reinhart, along with other finalists, were able to return to the show as guest mentors this year, an experience for which she felt thankful.

“It’s sad to see it go,” she said of the TV show. “I definitely want to be one of those Idols that can continue to go up the success pole and kind of drop the name of it. But at the same time I will never forget my roots and it’s a pleasure to be back there, especially going back as one of the mentors. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on 97 BHT.

Haley Reinhart set to release album, mentor last season of ‘Idol’ stars

By Ralphie Aversa | For Weekender

Ralphie Aversa with “American Idol” contestant Haley Reinhart.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_haley-1.jpgRalphie Aversa with “American Idol” contestant Haley Reinhart. Submitted photos
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Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on 97 BHT.