Idol Finalist Jason Castro Inks New Deal

(Atlantic Records) Atlantic Records has announced the signing of singer/songwriter Jason Castro. The Texas-based tunesmith, best known as the third runner-up on the 2008 season of Fox's American Idol, is currently hard at work on his debut album, set for release later this year.

Among his creative collaborators are Grammy Award-winning producer John Fields (Lifehouse, Switchfoot, Soul Asylum) and a number of acclaimed songwriters, including Kara DioGuardi (Kelly Clarkson, Jewel, Santana), Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall), Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt, Jason Mraz), Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams), and Jason Reeves (Colbie Caillat).

A multi-talented singer and guitarist, Jason Castro was among the most popular and talented artists in American Idol history, entering the record books as the first contestant ever to play an instrument on the show. His performance of the Leonard Cohen-penned classic "Hallelujah" proved such an audience favorite that cult hero Jeff Buckley's rendition of the song hit #1 on the iTunes chart the following week, selling an astonishing 178,000 digital singles.

Jason scored a chart-topping single of his own a few weeks later, when his interpretation of "Over The Rainbow" also hit #1 on iTunes after a show-stopping performance of the song on American Idol. Upon the season's conclusion, Castro was among the stars of the hugely successful "American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008."

Since then, Jason has been busy writing and woodshedding the new songs that will appear on his debut album. In December, he teamed with Amazon.com to release a free download of "White Christmas" as a special holiday gift to his fans. Castro has also recorded a new version of "Hallelujah," which will be featured on the soundtrack to the film, Amar A Morir, to be released theatrically this summer.

In addition, Jason has been a prominent supporter of a variety of charity organizations. Last December saw him starring at a Garland, Texas Christmas concert benefitting the city's Best Education Foundation. He has also been an active supporter of The Recording Academy's MusiCares Foundation.

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