But Barrett hasn’t forgotten the show that gave her her first push into the mainstream: She’ll return to American Idol this season as a mentor for the show’s current contestants, who are vying for the top spot in Season 20.
People reports that Barrett will appear on the episode airing April 24. She’s one of several previous contestants returning to Idol as mentors: That list also includes Jimmie Allen, Lauren Alaina and Chayce Beckham. Outside of the country format, past Idol stars like Jordin Sparks, Ruben Studdard and David Cook are returning as mentors as well. Pop star Bebe Rexha, who appeared with Florida Georgia Line on their song “Meant to Be,” is a Season 20 mentor, too.
Since appearing on Idol, Barrett’s gone on to become one of country music’s most successful stars. Her breakout hit debut album, Goldmine, includes the chart-topping singles “I Hope” and “The Good Ones,” the latter of which was recently used by a brand-new Idol contestant in her audition for the show.
In addition to all the career success Barrett earned from her time on Idol, the show also changed her life on a personal level, too. She met her husband, fellow contestant Cade Foehner, during their time on the show. The two are parents to a one-year-old daughter, Baylah May.
See American Idol Contestants Then and Now