Touring has paid off for Kelly Clarkson, and not just in her bank account.
Since July, the 23-year-old American Idol winner has been dating Oklahoma-born rocker Graham Colton, 24, whose Graham Colton Band is the opening act on her “Behind These Hazel Eyes Tour,” PEOPLE reports in its latest issue.
They have both lived in Dallas “so they have that Texas thing in common,” a source close to the singers tells PEOPLE. “They’re both very spiritual and mature for their ages. They are in a committed relationship.”
Colton and his band, who have previously opened for John Mayer, Maroon 5 and Dave Matthews Band, are currently on a break from the tour, recording a follow-up to their 2004 debut CD Drive, in Los Angeles. But the couple plan to reunite Dec. 7 in Hidalgo, Texas, as they close the tour out with a nine-city jaunt that ends in San Jose two weeks later.
While Colton won’t be joining Clarkson when her three-week UK/Ireland tour kicks off in Manchester in February, it seems the pair will find plenty of quality time off the road.
“It’s very serious,” says the source. “He’s just a great guy and very normal. They’re totally into each other.”
And in other Idol news, the fifth edition of the show – to begin Jan. 17 – will remain on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, despite strong rumors that FOX was going to switch it over to Wednesdays and Thursdays. “You don’t mess with a good thing,” network entertainment president Peter Liguori tells The New York Times.