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Gabby Barrett comes out swinging with ‘I Hope’

Joyce Hanz

Not winning “American Idol” hasn’t hampered Munhall native and teen singer-songwriter Gabby Barrett’s burgeoning country music career.

Barrett, 18, finished in the top three on last season’s “American Idol” and dropped her edgy ballad “I Hope” Jan. 25.

Barrett co-wrote “I Hope” alongside industry hit makers Zachary Kale and Jon Nite. The bold lyrics showcase Barrett’s powerhouse voice.

The lyrics don’t sugarcoat, serving as a swan song, shade-throwing jab to a cheating ex-boyfriend.

With lyrics like “I hope she comes along and wrecks everyone of your plans/ I hope you spend your last dime to put a rock on her hand” and “And Then I hope she cheats/Like you did on me.”

The single peaked at number 14 on ITunes country music top lists in less than 24 hours after it’s release.

Country superstar Keith Urban called Barrett to congratulate her on the success of her “I Hope” release. Former Idol mentor and singer Lionel Richie posted this week on his Facebook profile: “So proud of all my American Idol kids and all they’ve accomplished! Great work on your new song, “I Hope” Gabby Barrett.”

“I am so unbelievably excited to share “I Hope” with the world,” Barrett says in a statement. “After my Idol chapter closed, I knew this song was the one I wanted to frame myself with. Being a female, I know what it’s like to go through a bad break up and not get to say what you really want to. This song is for anybody that has gone through the same.”

Her fans can expect the official “I Hope” video, filmed on location in Nashville, to be released soon.

“We just left Nashville and are in Maine now filming a video for her sponsor Forever 21,” said Blase Barrett, Gabby’s father and manager.

For Gabby, not winning Idol ultimately led to a silver career lining, he says. “Actually, it’s better—her not winning.”

“She had turned down several label offers and is releasing her music independently.”

Barrett pens her song lyrics on her smart phone when inspiration hits — usually while touring, most recently with American Idol Live, Chris Lane’s Laps Around the Sun tour and performing in Washington, D.C., during the 2018 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Next up for her is a trip to Texas, where she confirmed she will visit her boyfriend, “American Idol” alum Cade Foehner.

For Barrett, her musical journey after “American Idol” is guided by a higher power. “I forever give praise to the Lord for allowing me to live my dreams and meets so many wonderful people.”

“I Hope” is available now via all digital streaming services, including iTunes and Spotify.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.


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Gabby Barrett has released a new song, “I Hope.”