Katherine Nicole "Nikki" McKibbin (born September 28, 1978) is an American rock music singer-songwriter who finished third in the debut season of the reality television series American Idol. Prior to American Idol, McKibbin appeared in the first season of Popstars. In May 2007 she released her debut album, Unleashed.
In 2002, Nikki appeared on American Idol, placing third. With the exception of 1960s week, Nikki was in the bottom three every week, a total of six times (including elimination).
"I Will Survive",
"One Moment in Time"
Gloria Gaynor, Whitney Houston
The Righteous Brothers
"Total Eclipse of the Heart"
"Piece of My Heart"
"Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp of Savannah)"
Big band week
"(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me"
Burt Bacharach week
"I'm the Only One"
Alanis Morissette, Melissa Etheridge
"Edge of Seventeen"
Alannah Myles, Stevie Nicks
Immediately following her stint on American Idol, McKibbin signed with 19 Management and RCA Records. They urged her to record a country album, but she was determined to stay true to her rock roots; she rejected the idea, saying she felt she would be "selling out." The creative differences resulted in no releasable recordings being produced.
McKibbin ran Angelfire Productions, a karaoke company, but after Idol, "got out of the karaoke business" to focus on her music career.
In 2004, she appeared on the holiday CD Christmas in a Fishbowl with several other reality stars for Fishbowl.com.
In May 2005, McKibbin joined Dallas rock band Downside. They did several shows together including a sold out show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas, but due to creative and personal differences McKibbin left the band in September of the same year.
In 2005, McKibbin appeared in several reality shows, including a "Reality TV Stars" episode of Fear Factor, and the sports competition show Battle of the Network Reality Stars, in which her team won. She also appeared in the E! Entertainment reality show Kill Reality, which documented the filming of The Scorned, a television movie featuring a cast of people who had been on reality television shows; McKibbin played a singer in the film.
Later in 2005, it was announced that she was signed to Australian indie label Astral Records, with her rock-influenced album originally intended to be released in February 2006. Recording began in December 2005, starting with a cover version of Mr. Big's "To Be with You". A single of "The Lie"/"To Be with You" and a limited edition behind-the-scenes DVD was made available through her official web site.
McKibbin's debut album Unleashed came out May 22, 2007. For the promotional 2007 tour, McKibbin worked with Texas heavy metal band Rivethead.
Late in 2007, McKibbin recorded two Christmas songs for the American Christmas album. One was a cover of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Vince Vance and the Valiants and the other was an original, "Alone With The Christmas Lights."
In 2008 McKibbin appeared on the second season of the VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, in which she received treatment for cocaine and alcohol addiction at the Pasadena Recovery Center (PRC). While receiving a physical examination from Dr. Drew Pinsky in the season's first episode, she revealed that she was sexually, physically and emotionally abused as a child. On top of that, she also lost her mother to addiction the previous year, causing her to carry a heavy amount of emotional pain. Dr. Pinsky noticed signs of hepatomegaly during the examination, most likely caused by her alcoholism. She said that she was on prescription ziprasidone and dextro-methamphetamine to reduce her anxiety, but Pinsky told her that it was unwise for a serious addict to be on such powerful medications. Her withdrawal was painful, and the day after she was taken off her medications she experienced the lethargy of withdrawal syndrome.
After McKibbin completed the program at the PRC, she moved into a sober living environment, which was filmed for the Celebrity Rehab spinoff Sober House. During a group night out for McKibbin and her fellow sober living housemates, which fell on the anniversary of her mother's death the previous year, she gave her first-ever performance while sober, singing her song, "Inconsolable".
McKibbin later appeared in the fifth episode of Celebrity Rehab's fifth season, during which she marked three years of sobriety, and performed for that season's cast.
In 2014, McKibbin was seen accompanying her son Tristan on the 13th season of American Idol during his audition, where he made it to Hollywood.
McKibbin was born in Grand Prairie, Texas. She is married and has a son, Tristen Cole Langley, (b. December 20, 1997), from a previous relationship. Her husband, Craig, appeared with her on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
McKibbin marked a year of sobriety on June 10, 2009.