American Idol McCreery’s soulful baritone voice graces this bell tower town tonight


Rabab Al-Sharif | Staff Writer

American Idol champion Scotty McCreery leads a double life.

He has managed to juggle his country music career and being on tour with Brad Paisley with finishing high school and pitching his school’s baseball team into the playoffs.

The country music superstar and his famous baritone voice will take the stage at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater.

Eighteen-year-old McCreery reached celebrity status last year when he became the youngest male to win the American Idol title at 17, during the show’s 10th season.

Since then, his debut album, Clear as Day, has reached platinum certification and produced three hit singles: “I Love You This Big,” “The Trouble With Girls,” — both certified gold for digital sales — and his latest release, “Water Tower Town.”

After completing the Virtual Reality World Tour with Brad Paisley and The Band Perry, McCreery has accepted some solo dates this summer, one of them at Chautauqua.

But amid his newfound stardom, McCreery still finds time to live a normal life.

“My friends back home call the me the ‘real-life Hannah Montana,’ because I have two lives,” McCreery said in a Taste of Country article.

The country singer earned a high school diploma and won his first CMT Music Award for USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year all in the same week.

But graduating high school doesn’t mean his double life is over.

McCreery plans to attend North Carolina State University in the fall, to study communications and public relations, but he won’t put his music career on hold.

“I never wanted to sit behind a desk; that wasn’t me. I love entertaining,” he told Billboard. “If I wasn’t on (‘Idol’), I would’ve tried to head to Nashville and make it the traditional way.”

McCreery looks forward to another first: the possibility of writing a song for his second album.

“I was never a huge writer growing up, but it’s definitely growing,” McCreery told Taste of Country.

He said for his new release, he wants to stay away from love songs.

“I don’t want to get caught up in the sappy love songs; those are important, but I want them to get a feel for who I am as an artist and sing about real things in life,” McCreery told Taste of Country, saying his current goal is to reach out to fans. “Every day I’m singing for somebody who might have not heard of me before or who may have not seen me play live before, so you’ve got to bring it every night and try to bring them over to your side.”

McCreery’s Idol experience has acclimated him to massive crowds, but he still becomes nervous before taking the stage, he said in the same interview.

“Once I get out there, it kind of calms down,” he said, “and it feels like that’s where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing.”

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