Ayla, 21, campaigned at her father's side for the duration of the election season, and some speculated that having her familiar face in public appearances and TV commercials was the state senator's equivalent of a celebrity endorsement. But judging by the number of people searching for on Ayla's name Wednesday morning (January 20), the aspiring musician is now benefitting from her dad's big win.
Brown made her way up to the top 16 in the 2006 season of "Idol" (which was eventually won by Taylor Hicks). After she failed to make it to the top 12, Ayla spoke to MTV News about how the "All-American" label she was saddled with hurt her in the end.
"I didn't think people got the chance to see who I was and my personality," she said. "It was hard to overcome that, but I gave it my all and I'm just disappointed America didn't vote for me."
Months later, she spoke to MTV again, giving advice to future auditioners. "My advice to people who are trying out for 'American Idol' is to know who you are as a person and it will get you further than you ever think it will," Brown told us in 2006. "If you go in there thinking you are someone else or trying to be another person, you won't get to the place where you really want to be."
According to her Web site, on her final "Idol" appearance she delivered a cover of Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten," but she continues to release music. With one album under her belt, the singer plans on releasing her follow-up titled Circles (her site does not list a release date). Ayla declared that she would donate portions of her election-night album sales to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Will Ayla Brown now join the ranks of other "Idol" alums who went on to see illustrious careers? After all, season five spawned the career of Chris Daughtry — so it's certainly possible. We've certainly seen less conventional methods of obtaining a record contract.
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