Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

From Idol to headliner and author

McCreery packs show with hits and covers


Mackenzie Joefreda

Whatzup Features Writer

Published February 27, 2020

Country artist Scotty McCreery achieved fame through a TV show and is now headlining tours.

When McCreery was young, his grandmother gave him a book on Elvis. McCreery wanted to be just like Elvis from that point on.

“That was my initial inspiration,” McCreery said in a recent email interview with Whatzup. “I also got a cassette tape that had Elvis music on one side and Little Richard music on the other side.”

Elvis remains McCreery’s favorite artist of all time.

No Idle pursuit

At age 17, McCreery decided to audition for American Idol in Milwaukee.

“I honestly didn’t think I’d make it to the show, but I thought it could be a fun adventure,” McCreery said.

Fast forward, McCreery came out on top and won season 10 of American Idol.

“The rest is history,” McCreery said.

School was still a priority in McCreery’s life, even after winning American Idol. Following that victory, he returned to his local high school to finish his degree and resume his position as the school’s baseball team pitcher.

Once graduated, he enrolled at North Carolina State University, while simultaneously furthering his performing and recording career.

McCreery’s debut album, Clear as Day, was the best-selling solo album released by a country artist in 2011. McCreery became the youngest man and first country music artist in history to have his first album debut on top of the all-genre Billboard Top 200 albums chart.

A real Balancing Act

It’s always been a balancing act for McCreery dealing with an entertainment career and a personal life. But he wouldn’t change a thing.

“It’s been crazy, but I enjoy it,” McCreery said. “I get to sing and entertain folks for a living. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. No complaints from me.”

McCreery’s song “Five More Minutes,” which he wrote with Frank Rogers and Monty Criswell, is his favorite song he’s ever written.

“The song was inspired by the passing of my Granddaddy Bill,” McCreery said.

That song became his first No. 1 hit, and went on to become his first Recording Industry Association of America Double-Platinum-certified song.

As far as his personal life, McCreery is most proud of his marriage to the love of his life, Gabi McCreery.

Every love song of McCreery’s have been written for his wife. He said “This Is It” is always a special song for him to perform because of her.

In the midst of his busy life, McCreery is actively writing songs and working on his next album, which he hopes to release later this year.

Writing goes beyond music for McCreery. He is also the author of “Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream in 2016.”

This book is considered a travelogue, not an autobiography, according to McCreery. In the book, McCreery shares stories from his life and lessons he’s learned along the way.

“God gave me a voice, and America gave me a chance,” McCreery said in his book.

Throughout his book, he also stresses the importance of his faith, family, and friends keeping him grounded.

Charities and Country

The McCreery family made a special appearance on Steve Harvey’s Celebrity Family Feud in 2018.

“It was nerve-racking, but so much fun,” McCreery said. “Steve Harvey is hysterical.”

They competed against Chris Kattan of Saturday Night Live and his family, winning $25,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“St. Jude provides innovative medical treatments for kids with catastrophic diseases, and they do it for free,” McCreery said on his official website. “I’ve visited the hospital and met some of the patients. It is truly a place of healing.”

Additionally, McCreery supports numerous other charitable causes including The 12.14 Foundation, World Vision, MLB RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), The Opry Trust Fund, and a variety of organizations in his native North Carolina.

At his upcoming show at the Embassy Theatre on March 5, attendees can expect a night full of music and fun.

“We give them all our hits, a few covers, and a few surprises,” McCreery said.

In addition to headlining his own tours, McCreery has toured with Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts.

He has also been named “Best American Idol” by the readers of The Los Angeles Times and “Country Music’s Sexiest Man” by the readers of NASH Country Weekly Magazine.

McCreery hopes to have a long future filled with great songs.

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