"Idol" Scotty McCreery juggles college and music career
"American Idol" Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery has the best of both worlds. He attends North Carolina State University Monday through Wednesday and tours with Brad Paisley Thursday through Sunday.
"It's been three weeks since my first day," McCreery recently told SoundSpike via telephone from Virginia Beach, VA. "It's going really well for me so far."
McCreery, a communications/public relations major, is learning the media side of his career by going to NCSU. But there's no problem there. He's a thoughtful interview who's playful while passionate about what he does.
These days he's pumped about his holiday album, "Christmas with Scotty McCreery," which hits stores Oct. 16. The 11-song collection includes nine traditional songs and two originals, "Christmas in Heaven" and "Christmas is Coming Around Again."
"They're two cool songs that were pitched to me and they have great messages to them," McCreery said.
"I was blown away when I heard them. It was an easy choice to put them on the record. But we also have the traditionals -- 'Holly Jolly Christmas,' 'Jingle Bells,' 'Let it Snow,' 'Winter Wonderland.' It's a very 'holly jolly' kind of Christmas album."
McCreery said he enjoyed recording the album in August in Nashville. He said it was ironic to record in late summer as it was 100 degrees in the Tennessee city. However, the studio was decorated with Christmas lights and Christmas trees. He said he decided to record a Christmas album because "it's been awhile since we put out the first record."
That record is his history-making debut, "Clear As Day," which was certified platinum for sales of more than 1 million units in just three months. "Clear As Day" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and Top Country Albums charts, making him the youngest man in history to open at the top of the all-genre chart with a debut release. It also garnered the highest sales of any country solo album released last year and held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for six weeks. The album's first two singles, "I Love You This Big" and "The Trouble With Girls," have also been certified gold.
"I was really pleased" with the album's success, McCreery said. "I never expected the way it really went out there and the fans, they treated us so well. I was blown away by the success it had."
As a matter of fact, he's been surprised by most things that have happened since that fateful May 25, 2011, day when he won "Idol."
"I didn't know what to expect, so it was all surprising to me," he said. "The Nashville community really accepted me. You hear different things about how they don't like the 'Idol' kids because they didn't come up through the clubs growing up, but everybody there has been so supportive of me, and appreciative and gracious.
"I've gotten to do so many cool things, like go to the World Series and sing. Right now, I'm on tour with Brad Paisley. It's been a crazy great year for me since 'Idol.'"
An avid baseball fan who played the sport in high school, McCreery said he's proud of "Christmas with Scotty McCreery." He described his favorite Christmas.
"Probably when I got my first guitar," he said. "I got my first guitar on Christmas morning when I was probably 11 or 12. My grandpa gave it to me. I wasn't no good at the beginning, but I took lessons and really tried to figure it out. Now it's taken me far with that one Christmas gift."
5 - Columbus, OH- Nationwide Arena
6 - Hershey, PA- GIANT Center
11 - North Little Rock, AR - Verizon Arena
12 - Bossier City, LA - CenturyLink Center
13 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
15, 16 - Raleigh, NC - J.S. Dorton Arena (North Carolina State Fair)
17 - Phoenix, AZ - Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
18 - Chula Vista, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
20 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
8 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium