Kellie Dawn Pickler (born June 28, 1986) is an American country music artist and a television personality.
Background information From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pickler was born June 28, 1986, at Stanly Memorial Hospital in Albemarle, North Carolina, to Cynthia Morton and Clyde "Bo" Raymond Pickler, Jr. Her mother left when Kellie was two years old, then returned and took custody of her for two years. After this, the court returned Kellie to her grandparents when she was 12 and they raised her to adulthood because her father was absent in her life. 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.
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.
Pickler gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of American Idol and finished in sixth place. In 2006, she signed to 19 Recordings and BNA Records as a recording artist. Her debut album, "Small Town Girl", was released later that year and has sold over 900,000 copies. The album, which was certified gold by the RIAA, produced three singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts: "Red High Heels" at #15, "I Wonder" at #14, and "Things That Never Cross a Man's Mind" at #16.
Pickler released her selftitled second album in 2008 that produced four singles: "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" at #21, "Best Days of Your Life" at #9 (which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift), "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You" at #14, and "Makin' Me Fall in Love Again" at #30.
In 2012, Pickler was ranked as the 14th best American Idol alumna. In October 2012, she parted ways with her former record label and signed with Black River Entertainment.
On May 21, 2013, Pickler and her partner, Derek Hough, were declared the winners of the sixteenth season of "Dancing with the Stars". In 2016, she was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
In September 2017, she began to host a daytime talk show, "Picker & Ben" with comedian Ben Aaron for E.W. Scripps, which currently airs exclusively on that chain's stations and CMT; the show is produced out of Scripps' Nashville station, WTVF.
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.
(Image: Pickler and members of her band Ryan Ochsner, left, and Joshua Henson perform for U.S. service members during the first stop of the 2008 USO Holiday Tour on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, December 16, 2008)
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.
2006–07: «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 the Billboard 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 television.
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. In 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 "Red High Heels". She performed "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.
2008–10: «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 from 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 would be part of the second leg of Fearless Tour.