“This all happened by accident,” Smithson told USA Today. The 25-year-old singer/songwriter with the great big voice hails from Dublin, Ireland. She released her first studio album for MCA Records in 2001 but was dropped from the label the following year. She finished the seventh season of “Idol” in sixth place.

Smithson got hooked up with the former Evanescene guys because she knew co-founder and guitarist Ben Moody’s housemate.

“I met him once or twice (at the house) before the band thing,” says Smithson.

Moody admitted he’s “sometimes hard-headed, and it took [him] a while” to give the Idol a chance. But after Moody checked out YouTube videos of Smithson performing, he “kind of freaked out.”

He quickly arranged a meeting with her. “Carly is a rock star. She was one of us,” Moody told USA Today.

The Fallen is made up of Smithson, Moody and former Evanescence members guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray, as well as bassist Marty O’Brien.

The band’s name stems from Evanescence’s 2003 major-label debut album, Fallen.

Moody left the band following the release of Fallen due to creative differences with singer Amy Lee. LeCompt and Gray left the band in 2007.

Today The Fallen will officially make its debut with a news conference and their first live performance. The band’s first song “Bury Me Alive” is available for free download at wearethefallen.com.

The band plans to start touring in September and release new songs every few months.

On Friday Lee posted on Evanescence’s MySpace page that the band is currently working on new material. Evanescence’s last release was 2006’s The Open Door.

Click here for the USA Today story.