Jason Kempin/FilmMagic
Joshua Rich
February 19, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Chris Sligh, the curly haired crooner who was a fan favorite on the sixth season of American Idol, has signed a record deal with Atlanta-based independent label Brash Music and announced plans to release his first album, titled Running Back to You, on May 6. His first single, ”Empty Me,” reaches the airwaves later this week. Sligh — who finished in 10th place when he competed, but whose Birmingham, Ala., audition was recently named by EW.com as one of the best ever on the show — will also be a guest commentator for EW.com’s Idol coverage this season.

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