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Kellie Pickler

Kellie Pickler Biography (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Kellie Dawn Pickler (born June 28, 1986) is an American country music artist and television personality. She gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of the Fox reality show American Idol, eventually finishing in sixth place. In 2006, she signed to 19 Recordings and BNA Records as a recording artist, releasing her debut album, Small Town Girl, later that year. To date, it has sold over 800,000 copies. The album, which was certified gold by the RIAA, produced three singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts: "Red High Heels" at number fifteen, "I Wonder" at number fourteen, and "Things That Never Cross a Man's Mind" at number sixteen. She released her self-titled second album in Fall 2008 and has produced the singles "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" at number twenty-one, "Best Days of Your Life" at number nine (which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift and her first Top 10 hit), "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You" at number fourteen, and "Makin' Me Fall in Love Again" at number thirty. In 2012, she was ranked as the 14th best American Idol alumna. She also parted ways with her former record label. On October 2012 she signed with Black River Entertainment.

Early life

Pickler was born at Stanly Memorial Hospital in Albemarle, North Carolina, a small town near Charlotte, to Cynthia Morton and Clyde "Bo" Raymond Pickler, Jr. Her mother left when Kellie was 2. Her mother returned and took custody of Kellie for two years. After this, the court returned Kellie to her grandparents when she was 12, as her father was in and out of jail during her childhood. From this age to adulthood, she was raised by her grandparents. Pickler says the major influences in her life are her grandfather, Clyde Raymond Pickler, Sr., a former electrician, and grandmother, Faye Pickler. Pickler graduated in 2004 from North Stanly High School in New London, North Carolina. She was a cheerleader and beauty queen. She sang "On the Side of Angels" by LeAnn Rimes at her high school graduation.

She worked as a waitress at a Sonic Drive-In franchise and, in 2005, she made an appearance on WSOC-TV's Gimme the Mike! Charlotte contest. She finished in second place. She participated in the Miss America circuit and won the "Miss Stanly County" pageant at age 17 and subsequently competed for Miss North Carolina 2004.

American Idol

Template:Main The 19-year-old Pickler auditioned for American Idol in the fall of 2005 in Greensboro, North Carolina. She sang both Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing". The judges sent her to Hollywood. Pickler advanced through the semi-final rounds in February. On March 9, she reached the Top 12.

Pickler was among judge Simon Cowell's favorites. He once predicted Pickler would be in the final three, and said he preferred her over the previous season's winner, Carrie Underwood. Recognized for her "quirky" personality and Southern charm, Pickler gained attention on the show by saying that she had hardly ever performed before real audiences, and by mispronouncing words. She was compared to Jessica Simpson in a March 27 story in US Weekly magazine titled "Kellie: The Next Jessica Simpson", due to her "sweet Southern style and ditzy demeanor". Pickler has stated several times that she was not heavily exposed to modern pop culture.

Performances and results (during voting weeks)

Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Result
Top 24 (12 Women) N/A "How Far" Martina McBride Safe
Top 20 (10 Women) N/A "Something to Talk About" Bonnie Raitt Safe
Top 16 (8 Women) N/A "I'm the Only One" Melissa Etheridge Safe
Top 12 Stevie Wonder "Blame It on the Sun" Stevie Wonder Safe
Top 11 The 1950s "Walkin' After Midnight" Patsy Cline Safe
Top 10 Songs from The 21st Century "Suds in the Bucket" Sara Evans Safe
Top 9 Country "Fancy" Bobbie Gentry Safe
Top 8 Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen Safe
Top 7 Great American Songbook "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" Vivienne Segal Safe
Top 6 Love songs "Unchained Melody" Todd Duncan Eliminated

Post-Idol career

After her elimination, she appeared in numerous shows promoting the TV show and performed the song "Walkin' After Midnight" in some of her appearances.

On May 6, 2006, she returned to Albemarle, North Carolina, for a parade and a reunion with her father. She received a key to the city from the mayor of Albemarle. The mayor also proclaimed the day as "Kellie Pickler Day". Pickler also received numerous awards from local and statewide government officials praising her accomplishments as a contestant on the American Idol television show.

Pickler pursued her recording aspirations in Nashville, Tennessee, shortly thereafter. On July 17, 2006, she signed a record deal with 19 Recordings/BNA Records. She later announced it herself on The View. She was part of the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2006, performing for three months in various cities. During that period, Pickler worked on her album in collaboration with top industry experts in different cities wherever the tour took her.

2006"2007: Small Town Girl

Her first single, "Red High Heels", debuted on September 13, 2006, and its music video was officially released on October 20, 2006. It received a nomination for the CMT Video Awards for "Breakthrough Video of the Year".

Her debut album, Small Town Girl, released on October 31, 2006, topped Billboard's Top Country Albums and landed at number nine on Billboard Top 200 selling over 79,000 copies in its first week, making Pickler the highest-selling first-week sales for a new artist in 2006. The album includes five songs that Pickler co-wrote with songwriters Chris Lindsey, Aimee Mayo, and Karyn Rochelle.

On January 18, 2007, Pickler co-hosted The View and was presented with a gold record by Rosie O'Donnell, certifying that her album has reached the 500,000 sales mark. She also performed her second single "I Wonder", which is a personal song about her absent relationship with her mother, Cynthia Morton. It was the first performance of the song on national TV.

Pickler was nominated for "Top New Female Vocalist" for the 42nd Academy of Country Music Awards.

She was also part of Brad Paisley's "Bonfires & Amplifiers" concert tour from April 2007 through October as one of the opening acts. The tour was booked in at least 37 cities across North America including a couple of stops in Canada.

Pickler appeared in country music artist Brad Paisley's music video "Online" in 2007.

On September 2007, Pickler released a version of "Santa Baby" for a Christmas country compilation. A month later, at the ASCAP Awards in Nashville, Pickler received a songwriter award for co-writing her debut single "Red High Heels". She performed her second single, "I Wonder", at the 2007 CMA Awards. During the performance, she was visibly overcome with emotion and struggled to even finish the song before bursting into tears. The performance received a standing ovation. She was also nominated for the Horizon Award. The performance led her to receive 3 CMT awards the following April.

In November 2007, Pickler appeared on a Celebrity Edition of the quiz show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, playing for the charities of her choice (American Red Cross and the AARP's Grandparenting Program). Worth a guaranteed $25,000, she was asked, "Budapest is the capital of what European country?". She replied, "This might be a stupid question" I thought Europe was a country." She voiced that it might be a place where people spoke French, and then was repeatedly confused as to whether France really was a country or not. When told the answer was Hungary, she did not believe the host. She said, "Hungry? That's a country? I've heard of Turkey, but Hungry? I've never heard of it." Thanks to her using the "copy" cheat, and her classmate having the right answer, she was able to pass the $25,000 mark and went on to win $50,000 before walking away; had she answered incorrectly, she would have left with nothing at all. While on her first USO concert tour in Iraq, Pickler met a few people from Budapest, Hungary, who presented her with a flag of their country.

2008"2010: Kellie Pickler

While "Things That Never Cross a Man's Mind" was climbing the country charts (it eventually reached number sixteen), Pickler returned to the studio to record her second studio album for 19 Recordings/BNA Records. She performed the debut single, "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" at the ACM Awards on May 18, 2008 and received a good response from the audience. She was nominated for "Top New Female Vocalist", but the award went to Taylor Swift.

"Don't You Know You're Beautiful" was released to radio in June 2008 and was a Top 25 hit for Pickler, peaking eventually at number twenty-one. Her second album, Kellie Pickler, was released on September 30, 2008 and debuted at the top of the country chart, as well as number nine on the Billboard 200, selling over 43,000 copies in its first week. It matched the debuting spots of her first album, Small Town Girl.

On November 12, 2008, Pickler performed the second single off her album, "Best Days of Your Life" at the CMA Awards. She was also nominated for "New Artist Of The Year" for the second year in a row, but lost to Lady Antebellum. "Best Days of Your Life" made its radio debut in November 2008, and debuted at number 56. The song climbed very slowly up the chart, but ended up becoming Pickler's first Top 10 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart. After nearly 40 weeks on the chart, the song peaked at number nine in August 2009. A music video was made by Roman White, featuring Taylor Swift, who co-wrote and sang background harmony vocals on the song.

Pickler was nominated for "Female Video Of The Year" at the 2009 CMT Music Awards for "Don't You Know You're Beautiful". She lost once again to Swift. She also presented the award for "USA Weekend Breakthrough Video Of The Year" with Idol judge Randy Jackson.

Pickler accompanied Swift on the first leg of her Fearless Tour 2009. In June, she launched her first ever headline concert tour in promotion of her self-titled album. On October 8, it was announced that Pickler will be part of the second leg of Fearless Tour.

"Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You", a re-recording from Picklers' first album Small Town Girl, was released as the album's third single on August 30, 2009. The song debuted at number 55 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and became her fifth Top 20 hit, peaking at number fourteen in February 2010.

On October 26, Pickler won the title of Country Weekly's poll of most beautiful woman in country music for the second year in a row. Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood were the second and third places, respectively.

"Makin' Me Fall In Love Again" was released as the album's fourth single on April 19, 2010. It debuted at number 53 and peaked at number 30.

2011"present: 100 Proof

It was announced that Pickler's third album will be produced by Frank Liddell, known for producing country artist Miranda Lambert's albums. "Tough" was released on June 13, 2011 as the lead-off single to Pickler's third album, 100 Proof, which was released on January 24, 2012. The album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 and at number two on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. "Tough" reached a peak of number 30 on the Hot Country Songs chart, while the album's title track, which was released as the second single in April 2012, peaked at number 50 on the same chart.

On June 27, 2012, ABC News Radio reported that Pickler has parted ways with Sony Nashville. Pickler's manager told ABC News Radio, "Kellie's contract with Sony came to an end and they mutually decided not to renew it". On July 10, 2012, she sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch at the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. On October 8, 2012, CMT reported Pickler had signed with the independent record label Black River Entertainment.

Personal life

Pickler's father, whom she describes as an alcoholic and drug addict, served a three-year, nine-month prison sentence at Florida State Prison for aggravated assault and battery stemming from a 2003 stabbing incident. He was released on May 6, 2006, a week after her elimination from Idol.

Pickler's mother was repeatedly charged with writing bad checks and was convicted in 1988 for passing a forged prescription for Valium at the Albemarle Wal-Mart, where she worked. The day after Pickler's second birthday, her parents split up. A year later, in July 1989, her mother vanished. During periods when her father was incarcerated, Pickler would live with her grandparents, outside Albemarle, which is 45 miles northeast of Charlotte. In 1992, Pickler's mother returned to Albemarle, but rarely made contact with Pickler. But in March 1995, with Bo Pickler in prison for armed robbery, her mother was granted custody. Kellie was in the fourth grade. "She got custody of me for two years," Kellie said in a February 2006 interview with The Observer. "During that time, she was physically and mentally abusive of me." In a 1997 court filing, Kellie's grandparents said her mother had moved to Union County with the girl and treated the child harshly. The court restored custody to the grandparents. Her mother vanished again, and Kellie hasn't heard from her since. In an April 2006 interview with NBC Kellie said "One thing that's so important in life is we learn to forgive others. I ask the Lord every day to forgive me for my sins and for things that I've done wrong. And who am I to not forgive someone for what they've done?" said Kellie. "I have forgiven her. I know that I haven't spoken to her in years and I probably wouldn't know her if I saw her. But she's my mother and she's a person. God tells us to love everyone. And I love her. She's my mother."

On February 26, 2007, she met her personal 'idol' and strongest influence, the country music superstar Dolly Parton. The surprise was arranged by Sony BMG Nashville chairman Joe Galante.

In 2007, Pickler was in a relationship with Nashville Predators player Jordin Tootoo and visited his family in Nunavut. Later that year, the two broke up.

Pickler's best friend has been Summer Miller, who Pickler met when they were teen pageant hopefuls. Pickler is close friends with American Idol fourth season winner Carrie Underwood and country pop singer Taylor Swift, the latter of whom co-wrote Pickler's second single "Best Days of Your Life" from her album Kellie Pickler, with her American Idol roommate Katharine McPhee, for whom she was a bridesmaid at McPhee's 2008 wedding and also with songwriter Aimee Mayo.

In June 2008, she joined close friend Carrie Underwood, a long-time vegetarian, in giving up eating meat. Pickler says she first decided to go vegetarian for health reasons, but a TV ad that vegetarian Pamela Anderson did for animal rights group PETA piqued her curiosity. "One night I couldn't sleep and I was up and just Googling random stuff and I'm like, 'Hmmm, PETA.' I saw all the videos and I just thought it was horrible. It's animal cruelty. A lot of it has to do with knowing what happens to the animals and it really bothered me and so I will not eat meat." In May 2009, it was announced that Pickler was nominated and won the title of "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" by PETA.

After two and a half years of dating, Pickler became engaged to songwriter Kyle Jacobs on June 15, 2010, the day of her late grandmother's birthday, after he proposed on a beach at sunset. Pickler and Jacobs eloped on January 1, 2011 in a "small, intimate ceremony on a private island in the Caribbean".

On September 4, 2012 Pickler shaved her head on Good Morning America in support of her friend, Summer Holt Miller, who started chemotherapy after breast surgery.


Pickler actively supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where she helps raise funds and gives kids special visits. She also participates in charitable events to help raise funds for various organizations. She has performed to help raise funds for the "N.C. Children's PROMISE" to benefit the Children's Hospital on Nov. 12, 2006, to help refurbish the Hurricane Katrina damaged NFL Youth Education Towns Boys & Girls Club of New Orleans on December 16, 2006, visited St. Jude Children"s Research Hospital on January 12, 2007, and visited Pennington Elementary School on February 1, 2007. "When you"re able to give back to your communities and organizations like St. Jude, it"s a great thing," Pickler said. "It"s been a great experience, and I encourage anyone and everyone to help."

Pickler was part of a Country and Western artist studded online auction for charity by Mario Magro: Kiss for a Cause Foundation Celebrity Auction held June 15"25, 2007, in support of orphaned and abandoned children. The event auctioned off celebrity lip prints and signatures pressed on the inside of Mario Magro Crystal Le Coop handbags at the 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

In 2007 she appeared on a charity episode of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? In the episode, she was asked to name the country whose capital city is Budapest.

She has participated in three USO tours. The first, in late 2007 and early 2008, took her to Iraq; the second, in December 2008, included stops in Germany, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and England. In January 2010, Pickler made stops in Iraq and Kuwait on a 10-day tour with Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson. The three country stars "played remote bases on the front lines of the war zone, and the sound of gun fire became their frequent companion at night."

In early August 2009, Pickler participated in ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's rebuilding of James Terpenning's family home in Beavercreek, Ohio. Pickler performed a free concert at the home, and helped during reconstruction.



  • 2006: Small Town Girl
  • 2008: Kellie Pickler
  • 2012: 100 Proof

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations
Year Presenter Award Result
2012 CMT Music Awards Female Video of the Year:
Teen Choice Awards Female Country Artist
2011 Teen Choice Awards Female Country Artist
2010 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Songwriter award for "Best Days of Your Life"
(most performed country songs of the year)
CMT Music Awards Female Video of the Year:
"Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You"
Collaborative Video of the Year:
"Best Days of Your Life" (with Taylor Swift)
American Country Awards Female Artist Single of the Year:
"Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You"
Female Music Video:
"Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You"
2009 CMT Music Awards Female Video of The Year:
"Don't You Know You're Beautiful"
2008 CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of The Year:
"I Wonder"
Tearjerker Video of The Year:
"I Wonder"
Performance of The Year:
"I Wonder @ CMA Awards"
Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Female Vocalist of The Year
Country Music Association Awards New Artist of the Year
American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Songwriter award for "I Wonder"
(most performed country songs of the year)
2007 CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of The Year:
"Red High Heels"
Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Female Vocalist Of The Year
Country Music Association Awards Horizon Award
American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Songwriter award for "Red High Heels"
(most performed country songs of the year)


  • Still Feels Good Tour (2007) with Rascal Flatts
  • Bonfires & Amplifiers Tour (2007"2008) with Brad Paisley
  • Love on the Inside Tour (2008) with Sugarland
  • Fearless Tour (2009"2010) with Taylor Swift
  • American Living Unstoppable Tour (2010) with Rascal Flatts
  • Nothing Like This Tour (2010) with Rascal Flatts

This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kellie Pickler". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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