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"Idol" Runner-Up Has Love For Detroit Singer

of the Oakland Press

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Crystal Bowersox’s “American Idol” ascent provided a boost for one of the Ohio singer-songwriter’s Motor City compatriots.

Bowersox, this season’s “Idol” runner-up, listed Detroit veteran Sista Otis as one of her influences, alongside the likes of Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt, sending thousand of “Idol” watchers to Otis’ website to check out her music. Otis (real name Marie Tinnes) also attended the May 4 and 11 “Idol” episodes in Los Angeles, where she met Bowersox face to face for the first time.

“I wanted to get her name out there and try to help in any way I could,” says Bowersox, 24. “She’s a good girl, and I really believe in her music and hope she goes real far.”

Bowersox says she became aware of Otis in 2006, when she was living in Chicago. “I was working an office job and cruising the Internet, like I probably shouldn’t have been doing. I came across her MySpace page and listened to the tunes there. I liked her whole vibe — I liked the lyrics, liked the raw sound of everything. So for years I’d keep going back to her MySpace.”

Bowersox and Otis began trading messages and became friends, and the now New Orleans-based Otis — who was not a regular “American Idol” watcher — says she noticed the increased attention immediately. Bowersox, meanwhile, has released a single — her cover of Solomon Burke’s “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song),” which she performed on the show — and is working on her debut album.

But at some point, she says, an Otis collaboration is certainly possible.

“We’ve got the same vibe — similar attributes, similar views on life and things like that,” Bowersox notes. “Definitely some time in the future, when my career is mine and I’m moving away from the ‘Idol’ cocoon and I can do more of the things I want, I’d definitely like to do something with her.”

“American Idol Live!” tour 2010 with winner Lee DeWyze, runner-up Crystal Bowersox and the rest of this season’s Top 10 plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 1, at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $40.50, $50.50 and $70.50. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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