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Constantine’s band signs record deal

Pray for the Soul of Betty to release first album on May 10
/ Source: The Associated Press

The band of "American Idol" finalist Constantine Maroulis will release their first CD on May 10, recorded before the singer's fame skyrocketed on the TV talent show.

Koch Records, the label that signed "Idol" failure William Hung, has announced a deal with Pray for the Soul of Betty, the New York band Maroulis fronted before auditioning for the Fox reality program.

Maroulis signed over the rights to his bandmates before joining "Idol," so the self-titled album isn't owned by the show, a publicist for "American Idol" confirmed Friday.

The long-haired rocker is one of six remaining in the contest, where he has emerged as a heartthrob candidate for young girls. Earlier in the season, the show documented Maroulis informing the band of his "Idol" intentions. Though some members then seemed upset about the more mainstream direction, they are now quite happy for the publicity.

"The reason why he's doing ‘American Idol’ is for the band, not for anything else," drummer Hamboussi told The Associated Press Friday, adding that Maroulis and the band remain tight.

"(On ‘American Idol’) he doesn't get the bass drum or the guitar hitting him in the back of the head," Hamboussi said.

Giovanna Melchiorre, a spokeswoman for Koch, said that while Maroulis won't be able to tour with the band, "Legally, I think we're OK."

The record company said Pray for the Soul of Betty draws influences from Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age, and "sounds distinctively like a New York City band should sound: intense, raw and powerful."