Sunday, 1 July, 2007 9:47 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Kellie
BY ROBERT ASCROFT
recording artist Kellie Pickler.
2007 CMA Close Up News Service
Kellie Pickler may not
have been the winner on "American Idol," but from the
opening notes of Small Town Girl, her debut album, it's crystal
clear that she has no intention of giving up on her dream. Raised
by her grandparents since 2 in Albemarle, N.C., Pickler was surrounded
by the music of Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride and Dolly
Parton. She started singing at an early age and hasn't stopped since.
After graduating from
North Stanly High School in New London, N.C., Pickler's life began
to change after she sang her first solo at her graduation in 2004.
Having caught the performing bug, she began competing in local Miss
America pageants, winning the "Miss Stanly County" contest
at 17 and vying for Miss North Carolina 2004.
The 19-year-old Pickler
auditioned for "American Idol" in the Fall of 2005 in
Greensboro, N.C. After surviving the first few rounds, it was off
to Hollywood, where she became one of "Idol" judge Simon
Cowell's favorites. She made it to Top 6 before being eliminated.
In the show's finale, she showed off her formidable comedic skills
in a segment entitled "Puck 'n' Pickler" with chef Wolfgang
Following her "American
Idol" experience, she returned to her hometown where she was
feted with a parade and presented with a key to the city. The mayor
proclaimed May 6, 2006 as "Kellie Pickler Day." For the
young singer, the whirlwind was just beginning as she hit the talk
show circuit, appearing on "Today," "The View,"
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Live with Regis
and Kelly" and the "Ellen DeGeneres Show."
Small Town Girl was produced
by Blake Chancey and released Oct. 31 on 19 Recordings/BNA Records.
Pickler is a writer on five of the album's songs, including the
lead single "Red High Heels," which she co-wrote with
Chris Lindsey, Aimee Mayo and Karyn Rochelle.
IN HER OWN WORDS:
Who is your musical hero?
"Dolly Parton, of course."
What actor would portray
you in a biopic about your life?
What moment in your life
would you relive if you could?
"Every moment I shared with my grandma Pickler."
What song do you wish
you had written?
"'I Will Always Love You' by Dolly Parton."
When they look back on
your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you? "That
they have enjoyed my music and that Ialways had great shoes!"
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