Ruben Studdard is ready not only for a new television image, but for a new image overall.
That’s why the Season 2 “American Idol” winner agreed to participate in Season 15 of NBC’s weight-loss competition “The Biggest Loser,” which premieres Tuesday, Oct. 8. Though contestants are prohibited from specifying how they’ve fared before episodes air, Studdard says he’s satisfied with his results so far — and also with the ones he’s had professionally since his “Idol” win over runner-up Clay Aiken 10 years ago.
“After ‘Idol,’ my first album [‘Soulful’] went double platinum pretty fast,” he tells Zap2it. “Because of the climate in the music industry now, it’s hard for young people to do that. To sell 200,000 records now is pretty much the same as selling 2.5 million when I was on the show.
“I went on the show to showcase that I’m able to sing all kinds of music, and to be successful at doing that. Looking back on it, I’ve had that opportunity, from having a No. 1 gospel album [‘I Need an Angel’] to being part of the soundtrack of the Broadway musical ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’,’ and doing an album with [producers] Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis … people who are really respected in the music industry.”
Studdard allows “Love Is,” the Jam/Lewis release, “didn’t sell as well as it possibly could have, but it also let people who are serious musicians know that I’m not just a person who was on a reality show. I actually have chops, and I’m prepared to go to the next level.”
To that end, Studdard has enlisted another big-name producer to work on his next album following his “Biggest Loser” stint: He has signed with music veteran David Foster — who also has been a producer for Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion, among numerous others — to oversee his next album, and Studdard has confidence in that guidance.
“I am looking forward to the prospect of finally being with somebody who actually ‘gets’ me,” he says, “and who has worked with the greatest voices the music industry has ever produced. He respects me in that manner and feels I can stand in a slot like that, so I’m really thankful that I was able to go through everything I did to get to this place.”
“The Biggest Loser” is scheduled to premiere Oct. 8 on NBC.