Inside Gabby Barrett's Time On American Idol

Gabby Barrett has had an amazing post-"American Idol" career thanks to her smash single "I Hope." The track — which was co-written by Jon Nite and Zach Kale — became a record-breaking hit for the Pennsylvania native. Following its release, "I Hope" reached the top of Billboard's Country Airplay and Radio Songs charts. The song also spent an impressive 20 weeks atop the Hot Country Songs chart, making it one of the most successful debut singles of 2020 (although it was originally released a year prior).

"It was January 2019 when we released it. Coming off 'Idol' that previous summer, I was thankful that the audience stayed with me," Barrett told Billboard. "The numbers started to go crazy on all of the streaming platforms, and then label people started to pay attention."

Today, the track has more than 170 million plays on YouTube, and also earned Barrett her first RIAA multi-platinum certification. And while it has been years since Barrett appeared on "American Idol," the singer deeply values her time on the competition series.

Gabby Barrett found her voice and her husband on American Idol

Gabby Barrett previously gushed over her time on "American Idol" despite not winning the popular show in Season 16. "You know a lot of people think like, 'Oh if i don't win and nothing's gonna happen.' But there's been many people that have come off the show and have one without having to win and have had great careers," Barrett told ET Canada. She went on to emphasize that the key to being successful post-"Idol" is to focus on creating good original music.

And while Barrett's time as a competitor on "American Idol" has long since ended, her journey on the popular show was filled with successes and losses. After auditioning for the show in 2017, Barrett quickly became a leading contender. Unfortunately, Barrett finished in third place, behind season winner Maddie Pope. However, during her stint on the reality series, Barrett met her now-husband, Cade Foehner. Foehner — a musician from Texas — who competed on the show and made it to the Top 5. The pair wasted no time making their relationship official, tying the knot one year after they began dating.

Gabby Barrett has since returned to American Idol

Gabby Barrett has had an extremely successful career since leaving "American Idol." In addition to landing a Billboard Top 10 single, Barrett co-hosted the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards — alongside Jimmie Allen and Dolly Parton. The move made Barrett the youngest host in the show's history.

Despite her seemingly hectic schedule, Barrett has also given her time to act as a mentor on the show that made her famous. In April, the "Footprints in the Moon" singer joined the Top 14 competitors to bestow words of wisdom. "You've just gotta get into the song and the lyrics more," Barrett told singer Noah Thompson, who performed a rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" (via USA Today). Barrett returned to "Idol" a second time during the Season 20 finale to perform alongside contestant Emyrson Flora. Unfortunately, Flora did not win the competition, as that honor was given to Thompson.