American Idol winner Candice Glover is pulling double-duty this summer. The R&B singer is appearing on the “American Idols Live” tour, which makes a stop on Friday, Aug. 16, at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, and putting the finishing touches on her debut album.
“While everybody is on the bus traveling, I’m flying to L.A. to record and write,” Glover says.
Even with the extra cross-country travel, Glover — the first female “Idol” champion in six years — has had to push back the release date for her record. “Music Speaks” (19 Recordings/Interscope Records) to come out on Oct. 8.
Glover, who got rejected twice by “Idol” before making the final cut for the 12th season, is collaborating with a team that includes producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, who has worked with a singer to whom Glover has been frequently compared — the late Whitney Houston — as well as Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears.
On tour, the St. Helena, S.C.-native is showing off her powerful chops, with her numbers to include her coronation song and first single — “I Am Beautiful” — and a cover of the Cure’s “Lovesong.”
The tour, which ends on Aug. 31 in Nashville, also features runner-up (and country singer) Kree Harrison, third-place finisher (and singer-songwriter Angie Miller), the rest of the Top 10, and contestant Aubrey Cleland, who was picked by fans to appear.
Before making her A.C. debut, Glover talks about learning the ropes of live performing and how she didn’t let former “Idol” judge Simon Cowell’s dismissal get her down.
Q: What did you take away from your “Idol” experience?
A: It teaches you about being patient and believing in yourself and being positive about yourself — that’s the key to making it. Before being on the live show, I never performed before a live crowd of millions of people, (including the) people at home.
I got a lot of exposure and got the confidence I believe I needed. I’m glad everything worked out.
Q: Simon Cowell likened you to a lounge singer during one of your failed tryouts, yet you persevered. How did you rise above his criticism?
A: He said some things that would definitely break a person if they aren’t comfortable with who they are. I’m thankful he said them to me. It made me work hard on my stage presence and appearance. I appreciate him being tough on me because it helped me in the long term.
Q: What’s been the biggest challenge of transitioning from the reality competition to the live tour?
A: I’m not a talker. I can sing all day long, but when it’s time to start talking, I get super nervous. But I have to do a good job of pumping up the crowd. They didn’t come to see us be judged — they’ve come to party.
Q: As you prepare to launch your recording career, do you have any role models for where you’d like to take your music?
A: (Philadelphia native) Jazmine Sullivan is my all-time favorite singer — her writing skills are amazing.
Alicia Keys and Faith Evans and those R&B divas are people I would look up to — I would love to work with them. Everyone knows I’m a big fan of Drake.
I have been in the studio with some producers and writing with them and having a really good time doing that. I’ve been working with some really good people — it’s been a lot of fun.
Q: Why did you decide to push back the release date for the record?
A: I’m the type of person who likes to put my absolute everything into creating, whether it’s a performance on the show or doing the tour or the album. I love to put my all into everything.
I thought it would be better if I could put my all into the tour and then put my all into recording the album and promoting my album and getting those great songs and making it as (good) as possible.