Scotty McCreery enjoying wild ride one year after 'Idol' win
Posted May 23, 2012
Garner, N.C. — 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.
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.”
“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.”