When Joshua Ledet, the American Idol contestant that to this day still holds the record for the most judging-panel standing ovations in the series’ history (18, if you managed to keep count), stalled in third place in Season 11, many viewers were shocked. But probably not as shocked as they were when that season’s in-house adviser, avowed Ledet admirer Jimmy Iovine, didn’t offer the mighty powerhouse a deal with Universal Records as expected.
But now, more than three years later, the Louisiana soul belter known as “Mantasia,” who stunned with “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and 15 other stellar Idol performances, has at long last landed a deal with Warner Music. His debut single, “Love Can Do,” and accompanying windswept music video (which premiered on Vidio) are out this week via Warner Indonesia, with the song’s iTunes U.S. release set for Sept.18.
“Love Can Do” definitely taps into Joshua’s gospel and old-soul roots, which might make it a tough sell in today’s hip-hop-heavy, aggressively Auto-Tuned R&B market. But the evangelical power ballad does evoke modern-day crooners like Sam Smith, Adele, and Hozier – so this seems to be an auspicious, if long-delayed, start to Ledet’s post-Idol career. With pipes like these, he’s likely to earn many more standing ovations in his future.