David Cook, American Idol: Season 7

FOX

Time for David Cook to start heating up the studio.

The latest American Idol champ officially has a record deal, signing to 19 Recordings/RCA Records, and will be soon laying down tracks for a debut album due this fall, the record company announced today.

“Signing this deal is truly a dream come true," says Cook. "I am looking forward to the recording process...The support I have received from America has been overwhelming, and I can't wait to hopefully do right by them."

The 25-year-old belter will record the album over the summer, in between dates on the American Idols Live tour. The road show kicks off July 1 in Glendale, Ariz., and wraps Sept. 13 in Tulsa, Okla.

"David Cook is an extraordinarily versatile and talented artist," Tom Corson, executive vice president and general manager of RCA Music Group sound-bites in a press release. "He is a natural performer and a true star. We are thrilled to welcome him into our family."

The "family" is already celebrating the runaway success of sonny boy's first single, "The Time of My Life."

The tune remains entrenched at No. 1 on iTunes and has notched 236,024 downloads in its first four days, making it the best single debut of an Idol since Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard went vox a vox on the charts. All told, Cook has 17 tracks on the Top 100 Digital Songs Chart, a record for any artist.

"David Cook is a remarkable talent and is a worthy winner of American Idol," says show creator and 19 Entertainment honcho Simon Fuller.

"He has an astonishing voice and is capable of truly memorable performances, as he showed throughout the season. He's mature, well grounded and knows what he wants.

"I honestly believe that David has the potential to go on to become one of the most successful Idols of all time."

Cook's album won't be his first release, however. His independently released album Analog Heart dropped in 2006. (At the behest of Idol producers, Cook says he pulled the album pulled from Amazon's MP3 downloads section last month shortly after topping the site's charts, due to "fairness issues.")

No immediate word whether Cook will employ members of his former bands, Midwest Kings and Axium, on any of his new tracks.

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