According to E! News, 17-year-old mother Jamie Lynn — who, until now, has only been heard singing the theme song to her “Zoey 101″ Nickelodeon show — is eager to get a country album out. An unnamed source told E! that Spears has been quietly working on an album since the fall and is looking for a record deal as we speak.
The dusty trail she’s setting out on is well-trod by more than a dozen pop stars who’ve turned their backs on Los Angeles over the past couple years in search of gold in the Tennessee hills. Some made that tricky crossover look easy. Others? Not so much.
So, Jamie Lynn, we offer you a cautionary peek at what your future might hold:
Jessica Simpson: Debut country album, Do You Know, was released last year as her pop and movie career continued to fizzle out. Had a hit single with “Come on Over,” and the album has sold decently, though she had some trouble at first convincing skeptical country fans she was legit.
Jewel: With her pop career also on the wane, the “You Were Meant for Me” singer released her country debut, Perfectly Clear, in 2007, debuting at #1 on the Billboard country-album chart. She’s had mixed success so far but has become a staple as a judge and host on the reality show “Nashville Star” and gets extra credit for being married to one of the toughest rodeo cowboys around.
Bon Jovi: After a chart hit with the single “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” featuring Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, the New Jersey boys went all in with the pedal-steel-ified Lost Highway. The album became their first to debut at #1, and it sold more than 3 million copies worldwide, but critics, and some fans, couldn’t shake the feeling that the move was a bit too calculated.
Kid Rock: Rock’s a funny case. The Detroit native, who started out as a rapper who rocked and has slowly tuned into a rocker who occasionally raps, has long flirted with elements of country. But with last year’s massive hit single “All Summer Long,” Rock bit down hard on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and, thanks to his good-ol’-boy antics, has appeared at the Country Music Awards (with Lil Wayne, no less) and is slated to play the Stagecoach Music Festival in April.
Snoop Dogg: The news was not so good for the D-O-double-G when he tried to get his giddy-up on with the ill-conceived country homage to women, weed and Johnny Cash, “My Medicine.” The 2008 single tanked, and country fans smelled a marketing ploy right off … and probably something else, if they were at the CMT Music Awards when Snoop showed up.
What do you think? Does Jamie Lynn have a shot at country success?