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Interview: Ex-'American Idol' singer Haley Reinhart ready to Lolla

When Lollapalooza released its lineup for this year’s music festival last month, one name in particular on the rock- and DJ-heavy list, which includes Black Sabbath and Jack White, had some music fans scratching their heads: Haley Reinhart.

Yes, the local girl from “American Idol.”

Lollapalooza has included the occasional pop act in its lineup in the past, but never before a former “American Idol” contestant — let alone one who finished third in her respective season. Still, those familiar with Reinhart’s ecclectic sound know why the 21-year-old Wheeling native may turn out to be a good fit for the festival and win over a music snob or two.

“The kind of audience I’m speaking to is a very wide range of people,” Reinhart said Thursday during the grand opening of the AT&T Retail Innovation Center in Arlington Heights when asked why she was chosen to be the first “Idol” alum to perform at Lollapalooza. “It could be because (my sound is) sultry, rock, R&B — all of these things combined. I’m going for something very raw and organic.”

Reinhart, whose debut album “Listen Up!” hits stores May 22 and features a cameo from 2010 Lollapalooza artist B.o.B, will take the stage at Lolla in Grant Park in August. She has never attended the world-famous festival but said she had always wanted to go and never got around to it. For her, there isn’t a better way to introduce herself to it.

Of course, the crowd will hardly look like the family friendly audience Reinhart performed for on a weekly basis on “Idol” last season. Keep in mind “Forget You” singer and “The Voice” judge Cee Lo Green was booed during his Lolla performance last year. Reinhart, however, claimed she isn’t too worried.

“It’s intimidating because there are so many people, but I’ve grown up my whole life performing in front of an audience,” said Reinhart, who grew up singing cover songs from the ’60s and ‘70s with her parents’ band, Midnight. “This is my comfort zone. I’m going to have my full band. It’s going to be a party more than anything.”

Twitter @aboutluisgomez

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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