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With a voice that negotiates down-to-earth twang and melismatic pop, country-pop singer Gabby Barrett had her big break in 2018 when she reached the finals of the 16th season of American Idol. Her first country hit, "I Hope," followed in 2019, a version of which hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020. That same year Barrett released her gold-certified full-length debut, Goldmine.
A native of Munhall, Pennsylvania, Barrett spent time writing and recording in Nashville as a high school student. Before auditioning for American Idol in Music City as a 17-year-old, she had also performed the national anthem at NFL and MLB games and opened tour stops for Toby Keith and Cole Swindell. Performing songs made famous by artists including Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, and Miranda Lambert, Barrett eventually made it to the finals of the 2018 season of Idol, placing third.
In mid-January 2019, she released the three-track EP Fireflies, following it a week later with the vengeful breakup single "I Hope." The song marked her debut on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Over the next year-and-a-half, Barrett delivered a handful of follow-up singles including "The Good Ones," "Hall of Fame," and the Shane & Shane collaboration "Got Me." At the beginning of 2020, a new version of "I Hope" featuring Charlie Puth raced to number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Later that year, her debut album, Goldmine, reached number 27 on the pop chart, eventually going gold. Among the many accolades Barrett received in 2021 were three Billboard Music Awards and Best New Female Artist of the Year honors from the Academy of Country Music Awards. A deluxe expanded version of Goldmine appeared late that year. ~ Marcy Donelson