'American Idol' 2023: Who is Caroline Kole? Singer-songwriter pitched OG songs to Ben Platt in 'Songland'
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Caroline Kole is one of the upcoming 'American Idol' Season 21 contestants. Let's take a glimpse at the singer-songwriter's career before we see her serenade the judges for a Golden Ticket.
The twenty-first season of 'American Idol' began on Sunday, February 19. The early hunt for the champion started last August, with Zoom auditions held across the nation. Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry, as well as host Ryan Seacrest, returned to the reality competition show. Before the week 2 auditions begin, let's take a closer look at Caroline Kole, one of the contestants featured in the episode.
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Who is Caroline Kole?
Caroline Kole, born Caroline Kudelko on July 2, 1997, is an American vocalist, composer, and guitarist who debuted as Suite Caroline. She grew up in Clearwater, Florida, and told a local publication that she started playing music at the age of eight after realizing she was bad at athletics. Caroline grabbed her guitar and began writing a tune about her first love.
Caroline's family relocated to Nashville when she was in eighth school, and she ended up under Reba McEntire's tutelage and started touring with her in 2013. She also provided background singing on Reba's 2015 record. She had already opened for Alan Jackson and Blake Shelton by the age of 16, and she has played with Sheryl Crow, Pat Benatar, and Charlie Daniels. In 2018, she made the move to pop with the release of a six-song self-titled EP.
Caroline is signed to Sony/ATV and has a licensing deal with Starstruck Records. She began a two-year worldwide tour with Reba in 2013, opening concerts for the singer. She was also one of the vocalists featured on Reba's 'Pray for Peace'.
Caroline's five-track EP 'Money to Me', which included the song 'Money to Me', was released in 2013 by Starstruck Records. That single debuted at number one on Country Music Television's (CMT) Pure Countdown. The video for her second release, 'If He'd Ever Look Up', was number one on CMT Pure for several weeks, and CMT dubbed her a "Listen Up" Talent. Both tracks were also played on SiriusXM satellite radio.
Caroline has a sponsorship agreement with Martin Guitars. The company first advertised her at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) conference when she was 12 years old. She started performing at the County Music Association (CMA) Competition when she was 14 years old. She has performed for Martina McBride, Eric Church, Alan Jackson, and Blake Shelton, among others.
'Winter', a song Caroline composed about the dolphin featured in the Warner Brothers features 'Dolphin Tale' and 'Dolphin Tale 2', appears on the music of the documentary 'Winter, the Dolphin that Can'.
Caroline Kole made the transition from country to pop in May 2018 with the publication of her self-titled EP, which included the songs 'Ghost', 'Adamantine', and 'Right Now' on Starstruck Records. Caroline's newest release, 'What If', in July 2018, cemented her transition to mainstream music. One of the most recent tracks, 'Freaking Out!' was released in 2019. This followed the release of the two songs 'Missing Each Other' and 'Easy'.
She's released two full-length recordings since 2016, 'I'm a Bad Actress' in 2021 and 'Queen' in 2021, as well as at least two EPs. 'Passive Aggressive', her most recent single, was released in October, following 2022 songs 'Headboard' and 'Red Flags'. She referred to the latter as the "first release of a new era." 'Freaking Out' (12 million streams) and 'I Like Cars' are her most famous tracks on Spotify (more than 4 million streams). Both were featured on the 2020 Playlist.
Caroline performed an original song for Ben Platt on 'Songland'
Caroline Kole, a musical singer-songwriter, presented 'Fool's Gold' to Broadway and film actor Ben Platt in 2020. The hopeful composer delivered the piano-driven ballad for Ben and the 'Songland' panelists Ryan Tedder, Shane McAnally, and Ester Dean in the season's final show.
Caroline's phraseology amazed Shane. "It's just so different," he said. Ryan, on the other hand, saw a task. "The big science experiment on this record is going to be setting up Fool’s Gold for the ultimate payoff." Caroline acknowledged that the tune was a self-portrait. Ben and Shane, on the other hand, pondered if it would work better as a love tune.
The group discussed lyric ideas, changing the meaning. It evolved into a tune about pursuing love all the way to the end of the rainbow. But one there, perhaps it's just 'fool's gold'. Ryan changed the rhythm to make it sound less "Broadway." Meanwhile, Ben was overjoyed that the music was about boys and was "as gay as could be!"
Caroline created her single in the studio with composer Shane McAnally. Caroline's tunes were described as "stunning" by Shane. "They have this touch of musicality and I want to make sure the lyrics support that melody," he explained.
"With the new lyrics, as soon as it started, I went directly to one particular relationship," Ben explained. "It feels like something I’ve been through and I know exactly what the narrative is. You’ve hit the bullseye. It’s very beautiful." Although the song was not selected for her episode, her rendition of it has received over 230,000 hits on YouTube.
Caroline Kole on 'American Idol' Season 21
Caroline has been teasing her social media fans about her tryout for the program since last month. She went on Instagram in January to express, "Auditioned for the show i’ve been watching since i was little :)) PINCH ME!! a dreaaaaam to sing in front of my idols @katyperry @lionelrichie + @lukebryan tune in feb 19 8pm EST, on @abcnetwork to see what happens next👀👀 @americanidol."
Caroline will be joined to the tryouts by her guitar, as seen in the network's photos. It's unclear whether she'll perform one of her original songs. That is something we will have to wait and see.
'American Idol' Season 21 airs on Sundays at 8 pm ET, only on ABC.