ATLANTA – Now comes a real thrill for the pride of Snellville.
"American Idol" (search) finalist Diana DeGarmo's (search) first single, "Dreams," will be released Tuesday by RCA Records, and the 17-year-old singer says she's excited to hear it played on the radio.
"I know I'm probably going to have a heart attack," DeGarmo told The Associated Press Sunday in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where she's been rehearsing for the "American Idol" summer concert tour.
She was the runner-up to Fantasia Barrino (search) — who now goes by Fantasia — in this season's "American Idol" singing competition. Though Fantasia won the record contract given to the winner of the popular Fox TV show, DeGarmo said she's close to signing a record deal.
"We're signing soon with RCA," DeGarmo said. "We're doing a full album, and if all things go well, hopefully it will be out before the end of the year. I can't wait to have everything finalized and in ink."
The three-song CD single also contains DeGarmo's version of "I Believe," the single released by Fantasia, and "Don't Cry Out Loud."
Fantasia and DeGarmo each performed "I Believe" on "American Idol."
DeGarmo says she knows some will view her relationship with Fantasia as an ongoing competition, just as some still contrast the careers of "American Idol" contestants Ruben Studdard (search) and Clay Aiken (search).
"Actually, we haven't talked about it," DeGarmo said. "I don't think it will be an issue because we will be so completely different in voice and style and music."
DeGarmo recorded "Don't Cry Out Loud" with studio help from Melissa Manchester, who had a top 10 hit with the song in 1979.
"It's really a great feeling of accomplishment," DeGarmo said. "We've gone so far and done so many things, putting our work and money and tears into it."
DeGarmo will make a brief return to her home state on the Fourth of July when she sings the national anthem before the Atlanta Braves' home game against the Boston Red Sox.
She sang the national anthem at a Braves game at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium while she was in third grade, and more recently at Turner Field, but she says this will be different.
"It's pretty cool going back and not just being the little girl from Snellville, but now you have a name when you come back," DeGarmo said.
Even better, she'll have a single.