Gabby Barrett Is Coming Home: Country Star Returning to ‘American Idol’ as a Mentor

Gabby Barrett, who got her start on American Idol back in 2018, is returning to the show as a mentor to this season’s top 14 contestants, Billboard can exclusively reveal.

The country superstar finished in third place on the show’s first season on ABC back in 2018, and she’s slated to appear on next Sunday’s episode, airing April 24, as a mentor.

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Barrett’s debut single “I Hope,” featuring Charlie Puth, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020 and spent 27 weeks atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Her follow-up single, “The Good Ones,” was a three-week Country Airplay No. 1 in 2021 — the first time in over a decade for a solo female artist to achieve that feat.

On March 2, at Billboard’s Women in Music Awards held at YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Calif., Barrett was honored with the Rising Star Award and performed “I Hope” alongside her husband Cade Foehner, whom she met as a fellow finalist on the 16th season of Idol. At last year’s Billboard Music Awards, Barrett won top female country artist, as well as top collaboration and top country song, alongside Puth, for “I Hope.”

Barrett’s current single is “Pick Me Up,” which she performed Monday at the CMT Music Awards and is one of four new tracks from the deluxe edition of her debut album, 2020’s Goldmine. This summer, she’s supporting Jason Aldean on his Rock N’ Roll Cowboy Tour, as well as select dates on Brooks & Dunn’s first arena tour in more than a decade.

The 20th season of American Idol features judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, with Ryan Seacrest as host. On Sunday and Monday’s episodes this past week, the show went to Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii, where the top 24 contestants performed for America’s vote for the first time. Bebe Rexha served as guest mentor and it was revealed that Kenedi Anderson had dropped out of the show for “personal reasons,” after her pre-taped performance of Christina Perri’s “Human” aired.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Revisit Barrett’s original Idol audition below:

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