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Scotty McCreery enjoying wild ride one year after 'Idol' win

Posted May 23, 2012

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— The blue-jeans wearing country crooner who captured the nation’s heart on “American Idol” last year donned a tuxedo recently to perform in his final choral concert at Garner Magnet High School.

For Scotty McCreery, the past year has been a rollercoaster. He’s been performing on the national stage with country music heavyweight Brad Paisley and will even get the honor of passing his title on to either Jessica Sanchez or Phillip Phillips on the “American Idol” finale Wednesday night.

Scotty McCreery at Azalea Festival McCreery up for CMT video award

But the 18-year-old didn’t miss out on his senior year of high school in Garner and plans to stick close to home for college. He’ll pursue a degree in communications and public relations at North Carolina State University.

He will juggle classes while continuing his music career.

“I enjoyed my life before. I enjoyed high school. I enjoyed football games and baseball, and so it was important for me (after Idol) to still connect to that before I graduated and moved on,” he said.

Singing classical music for his high school chorus is different from singing Tim McGraw's version of “Please Remember Me” during “Idol” Tuesday night, but McCreery said he’s glad to have both opportunities.

“When I’m singing here (at Garner Magnet High School), it’s not about me. The spotlight isn’t on me; it’s on everybody,” he said. “I kind of like that sometimes.”

When he’s not singing, McCreery was a talented pitcher on his school’s baseball team. He went 3-0 for the Trojans this season with an ERA of 0.88.

“It was a good season, and I enjoyed it with my boys,” he said. “It went a lot better than I was thinking it would.”

His baseball days might be over, but McCreery still is enjoying what's left of his senior year. On the night before graduation, he’ll be in Nashville at the Country Music Television awards. He’s nominated in the “Breakthrough Video of the Year” category for his single “Trouble with Girls.”

Scotty McCreery at Garner choral concert Scotty McCreery keeps things normal following 'Idol' triumph

“Then we’re flying back at midnight to get back for graduation,” he said. “We have to be there at, like, 7 so I’ll be running low on sleep, but I’ve been getting used to that over the last year.”

His parents, Mike and Judy McCreery, have been along for every minute of their son’s whirlwind year, but they say their family has kept their focus on what’s important.

“A lot of people told us it wouldn’t work. (They said) he’s never going to be able to go back to school,” said Mike McCreery. “(But) this was a priority for Scotty and for the entire family to not let Idol take away from his final year in high school.”

Judy McCreery said she’s enjoying the post-Idol journey.

“I can’t imagine not being there. I mean, your kids are gone in the blink of an eye,” she said. “So we have a great time going to baseball games. We have a great time traveling to all these shows. We have a great time living on the bus when we do the tour thing.”

Though Wednesday night will usher in a new reigning “American Idol,” McCreery plans to spend the summer touring and writing songs for a new album. He said he wants his songs, such as current single, “Water Tower Town,” to reflect his values.

Despite the wildness of the ride, McCreery said there’s nothing he’d rather be doing.

“I can’t see it ever getting old. Music is what I love to do,” he said. “It’s my passion and I think, as long as that holds true and I’m still having fun, I can’t see it ever getting old.”

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  • oceancandle May 24, 2012

    > "the past year has been a roller-coaster."

    I don't see the roller-coaster part, with a roller-coaster ride there should be ups and downs, sounds to me he has been at the top of the hill, not a roller-coaster ride.

    Maybe he means roller coaster ride as in "scary, breathtaking fun and adventure"! Ever ridden one? Not really ups and downs when you're on one, alot of "scary, breathtaking fun and adventure"!

  • shaggingsenior May 24, 2012

    I'm sure Scotty is a fine individual, but someone is making money promoting Scotty. For instance WQDR increased the ticket price 100% when it was announced that Scotty would perform at their fundraiser this past November for the UNC Hospital. Their reason was an increase in travel and meals. 100% increase for Scotty to travel from Garner? NC State Fair, tickets $25 and went on sale 10 months before the fair? What other performer at fair cost $25 and tickets sold 10 months in advance? Whose making the money, WQDR, NC State Fair or Scotty? Seems like they wanted to profit from Scotty before new American Idol was announced.

  • Hans May 23, 2012

    "Hans you seem like a very bitter individual." - ronnyg0447

    Nope! Happy as a lark.

  • itsnews2me May 23, 2012

    re: "Where's Garner???"

    You know, its where they make Texas Pete hot sauce.

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom May 23, 2012

    just to let you know...if he wins for his video, he's planning on donating it to the school and to the choral dept. this coming from an announcement he made at a pta meeting recently.

  • pmck May 23, 2012

    Sure Hans, if you need updates like that, I'm sure you could get them.

  • cwood3 May 23, 2012

    Scotty-you've done an outstanding job of staying grounded in you faith. I'm sure your Mom and Dad have been very helpful with that issue!! Keep it up-you will go a long way.

    Good luck at the Flagship of the University--NC State!!

    Hons-let's hope Scotty can live a normal life at State-after all-he's just turning 18!!

  • ronnyg0447 May 23, 2012

    Hans you seem like a very bitter individual. If you don't want to read about or hear about Scotty, pretend it's a television and you have the remote. Don't read the articles or comments. Who really cares whether you do or do not like him anyhow? I'm constantly amazed at people who's only purpose in life seems to be to tear down others.

  • LIR May 23, 2012

    Congrats Scotty!!! Glad that you have your priorities in order - that's more than I can say for most adults. :)

  • Hans May 23, 2012

    I wonder if we'll get weekly updates when he's at State? "Scotty got an A on his English paper." "Scotty finds freshman year a breeze. Credits the rigors of performing on Idol." "Scotty goes to Two Guys between classes."

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