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How American Idol’s Gabby Barrett Became Country Music’s Rising Star

Remember the name Gabby Barrett!

It’s been less than two years since American Idol viewers were first introduced to the Pittsburgh resident. While standing in front of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, the country singer impressed us all with her versions of Carrie Underwood‘s “Good Girl” and Mickey Newbury‘s “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

While she may have come in third place during her season, Gabby is proving that you don’t have to come in first to win big.

Her single “I Hope” has become a country music radio favorite and continues to climb the charts. And spoiler alert: She’s just getting started.

“To see how far the song has come in a year has been crazy,” Gabby shared with E! News exclusively ahead of tonight’s Idol premiere. “It’s really cool hearing it now and seeing everybody taking an interest into it. We’re heading towards the Top 10 and I’m just really grateful for everything.”

That everything also includes her American Idol co-star Cade Foehner who became her husband in October 2019. After meeting on the ABC show as contestants, the pair developed a relationship that turned into something special.

While they continue to enjoy the honeymoon phase, Gabby is the first to say her hubby inspires plenty of new music.

Gabby Barrett, Cade Foehner, 2019 CMA Awards, Red Carpet Fashion, Couples

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

“‘I Hope’ is not about Cade,” she laughed before admitting her other song “Hall of Fame” is definitely inspired by him. “I just think falling in love and being married completely changes your life in so many ways.”

Gabby continued, “He has inspired a lot of my music. I can’t tell you how many songs I can write about him. They’re endless…I’m very thankful to have someone who understands and supports this with me. I’m glad to be experiencing everything with him.”

In the year ahead, Gabby plans to finish up her album that she has been writing for a year and a half. She will head to the California desert to perform at Stagecoach. And yes, she’s hitting the road all summer to tour with Brad Paisley.

Through all of her accomplishments, Gabby says she has received so much support from other country artists including Carly Pearce. There is one familiar face, however, that stands out above the rest.

“Carrie Underwood came on as a mentor for us during the show and she helped me a lot and even helped me a lot after the show,” Gabby shared with us. “She actually gave me her phone number after the show.”

As they like to say, American Idol is just like one big musical family. Before the new season kicks off tonight, check in with some of your favorite contestants in our gallery below.

Phillip Phillips, American Idol

Manny Carabel/WireImage

Lauren Alaina, 2017 CMA Awards

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Casey Abrams, American Idol

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Scotty McCreery, Gabi Dougal

EB Media

Adam Lambert, Believer Spirit Day

Rachel Murray/Getty Images for GLAAD

Bo Bice, American Idol Farewell Season Finale

John Salangsang/Invision/AP

Gabby Barrett, 2019 CMA Music Awards, Red Carpet Fashion

John Shearer/WireImage

Lee DeWyze, American Idol

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Kris Allen, Katy O'Connell, American Idol Farewell Season Finale

John Salangsang/Invision/AP

Taylor Hicks

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Global Genes

Crystal Bowersox, Brian Walker

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Ruben Studdard, American Idol

George Pimentel/Getty Images

Fantasia Barrino

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson, The Voice Season 14


Elliott Yamin, American Idol

Tara Ziemba/Getty Images

Carrie Underwood, 2017 CMT Music Awards

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images For CMT

Clay Aiken

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson, 2019 Oscars, 2019 Academy Awards

Rick Rowell via Getty Images

Tinsley Mortimer, Constantine Maroulis

Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz

David Cook, American Idol

Kevin Winter/Getty

Jordin Sparks, Show Dogs premiere

David Livingston/Getty Images

Katharine McPhee, 2018 Elton John Oscar Party

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF

David Archuleta


Maddie Poppe

Courtesy of GBK Productions

Caleb Lee Hutchinson

Mireya Acierto/WireImage

American Idol kicks off a brand-new season Sunday night at 8 p.m. only on ABC.

Watch Daily Pop weekdays on E! at 12 p.m.!

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