One performance on "American Idol" can make anyone ubiquitous.

Soon after Katharine McPhee performed KT Tunstall's single "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on the show in 2006, even soccer moms knew the words to the "woo hoo" song.

You might have also heard the songwriter's "Suddenly I See" played over promos for "The Amazing Race" or opening the movie "The Devil Wears Prada," behind a montage of pretty girls and Anne Hathaway getting ready for work.

In fact, even her label, Virgin Records, was getting tired of seeing her face, Tunstall says.

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"They said, 'Go write some new material.' It was really refreshing, actually, to have a record executive, someone who would normally try to milk the cow dry, say that."

So she did. After she finished touring with her first two albums in 2008, she disappeared. She didn't tour or appear on the soundtracks of any chick flicks.

"I was really scared at first," she said. "I had toured solidly for six, seven years."

But the time off resulted in the 11 tracks of her new album, "Tiger Suit," which she's promoting with an 20-city tour that will stop at the 9:30 Club on Saturday.

The rest of this interview is online here and in Live! Friday.

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