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Entertainment News

Sunday, 8 July, 2007 11:18 AM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Bucky Covington

PHOTO BY KRISTIN BARLOWE

Lyric Street recording artist Bucky Covington.

By Kristin Sherer
© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service

With Bucky Covington's arrival in Nashville, sightings of "American Idol" veterans along Music Row have become almost routine.

Thankfully, Covington's Country credentials are as real as they come and his singing is anything but routine. Growing up with his identical twin brother Rocky in Laurinburg, N.C., Covington was still a kid when he started listening to and imitating Tim McGraw, George Strait and Travis Tritt on the family's karaoke machine.

At 19, he heard guitarist Jeff Healey's "Angel Eyes," and his fate was sealed.

"The minute I heard it, I pictured myself on the stage playing guitar and singing," Covington said. "It was the best, warmest feeling I've ever had. So I bought an electric guitar."

Obsessed, it wasn't long before he had mastered the basics and was looking for a band. His first groups were decidedly rock oriented, but over the course of the next few formative years, the singer gravitated more and more to Country, finally hooking up with regional favorites Southern Thunder, where he would learn the ropes on the road and find himself musically.

Covington's first "American Idol" season five audition - a thousand miles away in Memphis, Tenn., - coincided with Hurricane Katrina and was canceled. Following a subsequent audition in nearby Greenville, N.C., he made it to Hollywood and into the finals. Among the many post-competition calls he received was one from fellow contest winner Mark Miller, whose band, Sawyer Brown, launched their hit career after winning the top prize on "Idol" predecessor "Star Search."

Covington and Miller immediately hit it off, and, with Miller and Dale Oliver producing, Covington was soon in the studio recording his self-titled Lyric Street Records debut, released on April 17.

His debut single, "A Different World," was written by Jennifer Hanson, Tony Martin and Mark Nesler.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

WHO IS YOUR MUSICAL HERO?
"Elvis Presley. His showmanship was second to none and he had such wide appeal because his music crossed into every genre."

WHICH SONG WOULD YOU SECRETLY LIKE TO COVER?
"Elvis' 'Suspicious Minds.' That's the song that got me listening to Elvis."

WHAT BOOK IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
"The Bible."

On The Web: www.buckycovingtonmusic.com; www.myspace.com/buckycovington

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