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She's a 'Small Town Girl'

July 29, 2008|By BRIANNA GREEN / Pulse Correspondent

Kellie Pickler, 22, may not have won season five of "American Idol," but it doesn't seem to have hurt her career. The "Idol" top 12 finalist is now an award-winning country singer-songwriter.

"Growing up, I had been a big dreamer. Never in a million years did I think that everything would happen as quickly as it did," she said during a telephone interview.

Pickler tried out for "American Idol" at the age of 19 in North Carolina. "I was encouraged by different family members to try out and I was also following in the footsteps of Dolly Parton, by trying to become a country singer," she said.

She said she has always loved country music and wanted to sing it. "I had dreams of touring and moving to Nashville, Tenn," she said.

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Pickler didn't even think she was going to make it for an "American Idol" chance to go to Hollywood. "There were 10 to 15,000 other people there. I doubted myself," she said.

If you are planning on trying out for "American Idol," Pickler suggested "picking great songs" and "be confident."

And she said "American Idol" isn't as fun as it looks. She said behind the scenes is a lot of work as well - so be prepared. Not only did she make it to the top 12, she has sold more albums than season five's winner, Taylor Hicks.

She said people underestimated her and referred to her as "the ditsy blonde," but that didn't bother her at all. "I am in no way, shape or form dumb," she said.

Many musicians struggle when writing music. For Pickler, she was trying to figure out who she was as an artist. Her first album, "Small Town Girl" (2006), debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top U.S. Country Albums. In addition to that, it was No. 9 on Billboard's top 200. "Small Town Girl" features hit singles such as "Red High Heels" and "I Wonder."

Pickler actually won the three awards for which "I Wonder" was nominated by the Country Music Awards.

Sadly, she was not able to attend the show and had to accept her awards via satellite. "I was completely floored!" she said of the award.

In order to promote her music, Pickler has been touring with artists such as Brooks and Dunn, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts and many more. Pickler said she enjoyed performing with them all, but doesn't have a favorite. "Everyone's so different," she said

For her, touring was fun. "There was never a dull moment. Every day I would wake up in a new state," she said.

Pickler is currently working on her sophomore album, which she said she has been more involved in. It's been two years and a lot has happened. She said this album will have more mature songs, but will have some fun anthems, too. Pickler has not yet decided on a title, but there will be at least 11 tracks and bonus tracks for iTunes. She's also preparing for her 2009 tour.

So keep your eyes peeled for this small town girl.

IF YOU GO ...



WHAT: Kellie Pickler performs at the Great Frederick Fair; Lady Antebellum opens.

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 18; doors open at 6 p.m.; showtime at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Great Frederick Fair, 797 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Md.

COST: $25 for reserved track seats; $30 for reserved grandstand; gate admission does not include grandstand; Fairgrounds parking is $5 per vehicle.

CONTACT: For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.thegreatfrederickfair.com

Read an interview in Thursday's Loop with another "American Idol" finalist, Josh Gracin.

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