From the first moment Kellie Pickler appeared on American Idol, her sweet southern charm and giddy personality captured her audiences’ attention. They have been hangin’ on her every word – spoken or otherwise – ever since. She’s maintained an exhaustive schedule of television appearances, performed twice on the Grand Ole Opry Stage and her album Small Town Girl reached #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart. Despite her new found celebrity status, she still manages to carry on in an un-pretentious, down-to-earth, refreshingly likable manner.
I had the chance to speak with Kellie by phone, where she gave some insight into why her fans love and support her like they do. And despite some confusion (mine), I was able to clarify that she did have a chance to ride a few rides (log ride and roller coasters) during her visit to the Mall of America in Minnesota; what she really would like to come back for is the shopping. She also mentioned an upcoming 2007 summer tour with Brad Paisley. What ever her future plans, her fans and I wish her all the best.
I know you’re a big fan of Dolly Parton and you’ve expressed interest in touring with her. Do you plan on paying homage by visiting Dollywood in Tennessee?
Aww, I’d love to go there. I haven’t been there yet but I’d love to.
Have you gotten homesick with all your traveling and time away from your grandfather and little brother?
No, not really. I mean, I love Nashville and I’ve always wanted to live here. This is my home now. I miss my family some, but I’m able to see them when I’m off. It’s really not that bad.
You’ve been recently spotted enjoying the Nashville nightlife with some of the Nashville Predators after attending your first hockey game. Can we safely add hockey to your growing list of favorite sporting events?
It’s my all time favorite now.
You also enjoy NASCAR and football. Who’s your favorite football team?
Well, ya know I’m from Carolina so I’m a big Panthers' fan, but the Titans are growing on me now, too.
Several of the American Idol contestants released albums in 2006, but yours was the first of the Season Six alumni. Is there a sense of competitiveness among you, especially in the country music genre?
No, not at all. I think you are your biggest competition, because you’re your biggest critic. I don’t make it as a competition; I just try to do the best that I can. We are all very happy for each other. It’s nice to watch each other grow, and become successful and follow our dreams. And so we are all very happy for each other. I think it would be very immature to make it a competition, because that’s not what it is.
I understand that you’re a fan of horror movies. What was the last horror film you’ve seen?
Was there any significance then to releasing your album Small Town Girl on Halloween?
No, it was kinda really random like. I feel like it was supposed to come out in November, but it ended up switching to the 31st, which was great, it was a surprise for me. Halloween is my favorite holiday.
You also participated in The Children’s Promise fundraiser in November, which was a big success. What drew you to this particular organization?
Ya know, I love kids and so it’s nice to be able to help out and give back to everyone that’s helped and supported us along our way. You walk into the children’s hospitals and all of ‘em have watched the show and voted and supported you and it just makes their day to know that you just took the time out of your schedule to stop in and say hello and hang out. So, I don’t know, it’s just very rewarding.
You were recently guest hosting on The View where you were presented with your first gold album for Small Town Girl and you also released your new single “I Wonder”. Do you feel like success is happening too fast?
No, I think that I’m ready to go with whatever life throws me, and I think everything happens for a reason. And I wouldn’t change a thing about anything so far. Everything’s fallen into place and I can’t complain about a thing.
Is there anymore news on the sitcom in development with Fox that is loosely based on your life?
We have not… they’re still writing the script so there’s no storyline that’s been set out.
Okay, that’s just probably rumor then?
Thanks so much, Kellie for your time and I hope to talk to you again soon.
Thank you so much, take care.