Casey JamesCasey James already has a fan base totaling in the millions, thanks to placing third on the latest season of 'American Idol.' And now a move to Music City is sure to expand that fan base to the country world.

"Country music is a big wide open space for you to do what you want to do if you're within a certain realm," he tells Yahoo. "That will allow me to do what I want to do, if I go to Nashville. They are going to let me play the guitar, they're going to let me be edgy and rocky and a little bit bluesy, a little bit old school, a little bit new school. And my country roots -- I was born and raised listening to Merle Haggard and George Jones -- all of that wrapped up into one big ball is who I am musically, and I'm not going to be able to do that anywhere else. So that's what I'm hoping for."

Casey would not be alone in using 'Idol' as a launching pad for a career in country music. Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Danny Gokey, Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington and Phil Stacey all appeared on the hit TV show before beginning their careers. Fellow Season 9 contestant Aaron Kelly also says he hopes to establish himself as a country act, thanks in part to being inspired by his favorite group -- and frequent 'AI' guests -- Rascal Flatts.

Casey can be found this summer on the American Idols Live tour. Click here for dates.

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