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Gabby Barrett offers tips to the next generation of ‘American Idol’ stars as they head into Hollywood Week

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Back before Gabby Barrett became a bona fide country superstar with her chart-topping hit “I Hope,” she was an American Idol alumna: She came in third on the show in 2018, the first year it was on ABC.

This Sunday, Gabby’s headed back to her old stomping grounds as Idol’s Hollywood Week kicks off. What advice does she have for new contestants? Think strategically and keep some things close to the vest…for now.

“If you can play the piano and play different instruments and sing different genres and that kind of thing, I would just not show all of that right away,” Gabby tells ABC Audio. “I think it’s cool to just reveal the deck as time goes on, you just don’t slap your deck down! And so that’s kind of what I did with the show. And it worked out, thankfully for me.”

Gabby also notes that in addition to not “playing your cards all out,” “Song choice is really important. Go with what you think you sound best singing.”

When she’s not offering tips to the new generation of potential American Idol stars, Gabby’s hitting new songwriting milestones: she’s at the top of Billboard Country Songwriter’s chart for the first time ever this week, tied with her “I Hope” and “The Good Ones” co-writer Zach Kale.


By Carena Liptak
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