U.S. soul singer Candice Glover wins "American Idol"

Thu May 16, 2013 11:34pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

(Reuters) - Candice Glover, a soul singer from rural South Carolina, was named "American Idol" on Thursday, becoming the first female singer to win the television singing competition since 2007.

Glover, 23, defeated country singer Kree Harrison in the popular vote with her powerful voice in what judges deemed a close contest to take the title on season 12 of the Fox network show.

"You are officially our American idol," host Ryan Seacrest said as the crowd of more than 7,000 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles cheered.

With tears streaming down her face after hearing her name, Glover seemed lost for words. "Oh, my God," she said. "Three years."

The third time was lucky for Glover, who appeared in two earlier seasons of the show, and finally won the crown by making songs like "Somewhere" from the musical "West Side Story," and the jazz tune "You've Changed" all her own.

"Three years, persistence, determination and a lot of talent. You deserve it," said Seacrest.

He announced Glover as the winner at the end of Thursday's two-hour show, which featured performances by judges Keith Urban and Mariah Carey, as well as Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Lopez, rapper Pitbull and South Korea's Psy, who sang his new single "Gentleman."

Glover, the first woman to be crowned "Idol" since Jordin Sparks six years ago, won a record deal, which could help propel her to the stardom enjoyed by other women "Idol" winners such as Grammy Award winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.   Continued...

 
Finalist Candice Glover and singer Jennifer Hudson perform "Inseparable" during the Season 12 finale of "American Idol" in Los Angeles, Calfiornia May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Phil McCarten