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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 5

'American Idol 5' finalist Kellie Pickler's debut album certified gold

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/18/2007 

According to Kellie Pickler, it wasn't a publicity stunt when The View co-host Rosie O'Donnell presented the American Idol 5 finalist with her first Gold Album Award courtesy of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on this morning's live broadcast of the ABC talk show.

"My publicist lied to me... I didn't know!" exclaimed Pickler, who was a guest host on this morning's The View broadcast.  "I'm gonna cry."

After being the seventh finalist eliminated on the fifth season of Idol, Pickler signed a recording contract with BNA Records, a country-label owned by RCA Records and Sony BMG Music Entertainment.  Her debut single "Red High Heels" was released on September 25, 2006 and her debut album "Small Town Girl" followed on October 31.  Pickler was presented the award on The View because "Small Town Girl" was recently certified as gold by the RIAA for selling more than 500,000 copies.

"Kellie Pickler... you're the best thing that came out of American Idol, one of the best things," O'Donnell told Pickler before surprising her with the gold album plaque.  "You're adorable... you deserve it."

"You make us all proud... you were tricked and I'm glad I could do it," O'Donnell added.

O'Donnell also told the 19-year-old former waitress that The View had hoped to get Dolly Parton, Pickler's idol, to be the one to present the award.  However Parton is currently on tour, and while the country-music legend did send her best wishes to Pickler, it's probably better she wasn't there.

"I think I'd go into cardiac arrest," said Pickler at the thought of meeting Parton.

Pickler is scheduled to guest host on The View again tomorrow morning, when she'll perform "I Wonder," one of the singles released from "Small Town Girl."

"My relationship with my mom is nonexistent," said Pickler, explaining the inspiration behind "I Wonder," which she co-wrote.  "She left when I was a little girl, so ["I Wonder"] consists of different questions I've had for her over the last 20 years."

A week after the release of her debut album, 20th Century Fox and 19 Entertainment signed Pickler to a sitcom development deal that would have Pickler playing "a naive small-town Southern girl -- a character based on herself -- who discovers that her biological father is the state's well-respected governor." Although the discovery initially puts her biological father's presidential dreams at risk, their new relationship eventually winds up helping his popularity in the polls.

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