American Idol Scotty McCreery Signs Major-Label Deal

'Idol' runner-up Lauren Alaina also inks contract with Mercury Nashville/ 19 Recordings/ Interscope.

"American Idol" champ Scotty McCreery is wasting no time getting his career off the ground. A little more than a week after being crowned season 10 champ, McCreery has signed a major-label deal with Mercury Nashville/ 19 Recordings/ Interscope. He's also made a bit of history with his debut single, "I Love You This Big."

According to his new bosses, the embracing country ballad is the highest-charting debut for a new artist in more than two decades. "This Big" hit Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart at #32 last week, the best first-week showing since the magazine started using Nielsen's BDS-based data in January 1990. The song also hit #1 on iTunes and #3 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart.

"I am humbled and shocked by this news," McCreery said in a statement. "I can't tell you what it means to me to be on the same charts as my musical heroes. I want to thank my fans and especially country radio for their support. I continue to be amazed by everything that has happened to me in such a short time."

While a spokesperson confirmed 17-year-old McCreery is slated to hit Nashville this week to start work on his still-untitled debut, his pal and runner-up, Lauren Alaina, was not left out in the cold. The 16-year-old country/pop singer also scored a major-label deal with Mercury Nashville, and after hitting the CMA Music Fest in Nashville this week, she, too, will begin work on her major-label debut.

Before diving into recording and prepping for the "Idols Live!" summer tour, which kicks off on July 6, McCreery will get some big-deal screen time when he presents at the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday. In addition, he'll make appearances at a number of CMA Music Festival activities this week, and on Friday, he'll have his Grand Ole Opry debut with a performance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" to follow on June 15.

Both singers recently told MTV News that they have no plans to stray from their country roots once they get behind the microphone, with Scotty promising he wouldn't turn into "Country Bieber."

"It's gonna be a good ol' country album," McCreery said. "I like to have that old flavor in my music, but with a contemporary feel, so we'll see where that leads me. I think it'll be a good little mix."

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