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RCA Records Signs 'American Idol' Runner-Up Guarini

Justin Guarini may be known all over the world as “Mr. Runner Up” from hit TV show “American Idol,” but RCA Records is betting the floppy-haired singer will be a winner on the record sales charts.

RCA, a unit of Bertelsmann AG, on Wednesday said it will release the solo recordings of Guarini, 23, following the label’s success with the release of a single by the show’s champion, Kelly Clarkson.

The bubbly 20-year-old’s rendition of “A Moment Like This,” the song Clarkson performed on the final episode of the show, has topped the charts in recent weeks.

RCA said Guarini was signed to 19 Recordings Ltd, the label of British entrepreneur, star-maker and “American Idol” producer Simon Fuller, who will license Guarini’s solo effort to RCA in America.

“We look forward to working with Justin to nurture his talent and help him build a recording career at RCA,” said Bob Jamieson, Chairman, RCA Music Group.

Guarini, who along Clarkson and eight other “American Idol” finalists, embarked this week on a 27-city U.S. arena tour.

Fuller’s 19 Recordings is part of his 19 Group of Cos, founded in 1985. Fuller is credited with creating and managing the Spice Girls, who sold over 38 million albums.

In 1998, Fuller’s 19 Group launched S Club 7, which sold 10 million CDs worldwide. He has also created several television series, including Britain’s “Pop Idol,” which was the inspiration for “American Idol.”

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