‘American Idol’ alumni notes: Haley Reinhart, Kelly Clarkson, James Durbin

Manfred Werner
Is it true?

We’re kicking off Thursday with some “American Idol“-related stories that really do span a decade — after all, we have the original winner of the show in here.

Kelly’s alleged relationship – It’s been a while since we’ve had some relationship scoop courtesy of Kelly Clarkson, but Mrs. Carter is making a special appearance here with a few details…

Us Weekly is claiming that Kelly (who has gone on from “Idol” to take part in “The Voice” and now the upcoming ABC show “Duets”) is in a relationship with 35-year old Nashville talent manager Brandon Blackstock. If you want some interesting connections thrown in here, here you go — Brandon is the son of Kelly’s own manager Narvel Blackstock, and he also happens to be the stepson of Reba McEntire. (Although Kelly’s music is more pop than country, she is close friends with a good many within the community — including her “Voice” pals Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.)

Here’s what the magazine’s source said about this new relationship:

“Before Brandon, Kelly had a really tough time with love … [Brandon] is just what she needed.”

Kelly’s not commenting on the relationship at the moment, so we will let you know more as soon as we do.

Haley’s album title – Now, back to some music news! On May 22, Haley Reinhart is set to release her debut album “Listen Up” — which works perfectly in the sense that it is right around the season 11 “Idol” finale. This means that her new single “Free” will be out for just over two months before the entire disc comes out.

You can pre-order the album over at this link, and you can also pick up a special deluxe edition of the album that includes 14 songs, a flipbook, and a code that will allow you to download “Free” online as soon as it is released on March 20. (She is also performing the song on “Idol” on March 22.)

Just in case you haven’t heard the song yet, you should do so below … and be very happy as a result.

James’ own “madness” – It’s March Madness, but for James Durbin this means something different than basketball — it means getting the opportunity to take part in MTV’s Musical March Madness bracket.

Durbin is a #16 seed going up against one of the biggest bands in the world right now in Foo Fighters, but he is actually (as of this writing) putting up a good fight. If you want to send a vote James’ way, you can head on over to this link. Voting continues until Sunday night.

As always, stay tuned for more on all things “Idol”-related!

Photo: Manfred Warner

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