“Pick Pickler” was American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler’s slogan. The then 19-year old is now on her own, still making music and still gaining notoriety. During an MTV interview, Pickler said she is working on a new album right now that will be her third, to be released this Fall. And this album, she claims, will be very country, as in the past, fans complained her music was too pop for their taste. Pickler says she is going back to her roots and the album will reflect this.
Kellie Pickler was born June 28, 1986 in Albemarle, North Carolina. Pickler’s mother left her and her father when Kellie was 2. She returned for custody but then the court returned the daughter to her grandparents when she was 12. With her father in and out of jail, Pickler was raised by her grandparents. Pickler still attributes her life’s influences to her grandparents, especially her grandfather, Clyde Raymond Pickler Sr.
When Pickler’s grandmother died in 2002, she continued to live with her grandfather and younger sibling Eric until she became a contestant on American Idol. Prior to being on Idol, Pickler graduated from high school and worked as a waitress at a Sonic Drive-In. She participated in the Miss America circuit and won the “Miss Stanly County” pageant at age 17. She also competed for Miss North Carolina in 2004.
In 2005 she auditioned for American Idol in Greensboro, North Carolina. She sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing”. The judges sent her to Hollywood and she slowly reached the Top 12. Pickler became popular due to her quirky personality and southern charm. Audiences loved her naiveté and compared her to Jessica Simpson.
After finishing sixth on American Idol, she made appearances on numerous television shows. In May of 2006 she returned to Albemarle, North Carolina for a parade and reunion with her father. The mayor proclaimed the day as Kellie Pickler Day.
Pickler wanted to continue pursuing her career and decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee. On July 17, 2006 she signed with 19 Records/BNA Records as a recording artist. She released her debut album “Small Town Girl” in 2006. It sold over 800,000 copies and was certified gold by the RIAA. It also was nominated for the CMT Video Awards as “Breakthrough Video of the Year”. The debut album topped Billboard’s Top Country Albums. The album produced three singles on the Billboard Hot Country Song charts. They included “Red High Heels” at #15, “I Wonder” at #14 and “Things That Never Cross A Man’s Mind” at #16.
In addition to her album’s success, Pickler was nominated for “Top New Female Vocalist” by the Academy of Country Music.
Pickler continued to perform and release singles. The single “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” was released to radio in June 2008 and was a Top 25 hit, peaking at #21. Her second album “Kellie Pickler” was finally released on September 30, 2008. The album debuted at the top of the country chart as well as #9 on the Billboard 200, selling over 43,000 copies in its first week.
In 2009, Pickler accompanied Taylor Swift on the first leg of her Fearless Tour. Pickler also re-recorded the single “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” from her first album. The song debuted at #55 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and became her fifth Top 20 hit, peaking at #14 in February 2010.
Pickler now looks forward to the release of her third album and hopes it receives as much of a welcome as her other two albums, or even a better one at that.
Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.