Pop & Hiss
ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC Pop & Hiss

Behind the scenes of Mali Music's network debut

This season "American Idol" has turned the spotlight on emerging acts during its elimination shows. Previous winners Candice Glover and Phillip Phillips and judge Harry Connick Jr. have all used the "Idol" stage to promote new singles, but they are doing so alongside lesser known artists such as Mali Music, Kodaline, Jake Bugg and Royal Teeth -- acts championed by the show's judges and mentor Randy Jackson.

Mali Music was handpicked by judge Jennifer Lopez to perform on a recent episode of the long-running Fox competition. The R&B/gospel/hip-hop crooner has already made a splash in the gospel world with a pair of independently released albums and collaborations with Kirk Franklin, Kierra Sheard and Lecrae. Now signed to RCA/ByStorm (home of Miguel), he's plotting a transition to mainstream audiences with his major label debut. Ahead of his network TV debut, we asked him to keep a photo diary documenting his breakout moment, when his soulful performance of "Beautiful" moved crowd members to their feet. -- Gerrick D. Kennedy
By Gerrick D. Kennedy
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