American Idol finalist Casey James, who placed third on the ninth season of the talent competition, has signed a record deal with Sony Music Nashville and 19 Recordings/BNA Records. A native of Cool, Texas, he auditioned in Denver but had never seen an episode of the television show. The musician and singer-songwriter has fronted the Casey James Band since 2008. He is currently on the American Idols Live tour with winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox, along with the season's remaining Top 10 finalists. James will soon begin working on his debut album expected to be released next year. "All my life I have wanted this, and now my dream has come true," James said. "Words can't describe how thankful and blessed I am for the opportunity to give back to all those who have supported me. I'm going to work hard to make the best album possible. I want to thank my mama for making me go to Denver."