Two years ago, Gabby Barrett finished third during American Idol‘s first season on ABC. This week, the Pennsylvania native comes out on top, as her debut single, “I Hope,” climbs to number one on the country chart.
While “I Hope” is more than a little reminiscent of Carrie Underwood‘s “Before He Cheats,” Gabby reveals it actually started out as a very different song. Gabby recalls sitting down to write it with Jon Nite and Zachary Kale.
“They had come in and said, ‘Well, we have this idea. Let’s write a song about where a guy does a girl wrong. The worst happens,'” she remembers. “‘But the girl still kind of like wishes the guy well in the end, like, “Take care. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.”‘”
“And I was like, ‘That’s not gonna work,'” she laughs, “‘because women aren’t like that most of the time!'”
Instead, the twenty-year-old reached back to one of her first relationships for inspiration.
“I just kind of wrote from the perspective of one of my first boyfriends that I had had in high school,” Gabby tells ABC Audio, “and just how I felt when something tragic happened.”
“And so I just hoped with this song that people could hear it, and, kind of, it could help them through whatever they’re going through, you know, badly with relationships,” she adds. “Because I feel like everybody goes through bad relationships.”
Personally, things are going well for Gabby on the relationship front these days. She married fellow Idol contestant Cade Foehner in October of last year.
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