Kellie Pickler
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Albemarle, North Carolina, USA
5' 1
Famous for:
Her debut album Small Town Girl with single Red High Heels in 2006
North Stanly High School in New London, North Carolina (graduated in 2004)
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Red High Heels


“I should be the ‘American Idol’ because I deserve it.” Kellie Pickler

Rising to fame as the sixth finalist on the 5th season of the Fox hit TV series “American Idol,” country singer and songwriter Kellie Pickler has joined Carrie Underwood, Josh Gracin and Bucky Covington to become the fourth flourishing country artists to come from “Idol” thanks to her debut album, “Small Town Girl” (2006), which was a Top 10 hit on the Billboard's Hot 200. The album spawned the award-winning songs “Red High Heels” and “I Wonder” and to date, has sold over 800,000 units in the U.S. Signed with BNA Records, Pickler, who stated her late grandmother was her American idol, released an eponymous second album in September 2008. The album became her next No. 1 hit on the Top Country Albums chart and her next Top 10 album on Billboard's 200. The first single, “Don't You Know You're Beautiful,” made it to the Top 15.

Pickler has participated in several charities, including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in which she helped raise funds, and Mario Magro's Kiss for a Cause Foundation Celebrity Auction, which supports orphaned and abandoned children. She has also participated in the USO tour twice, for which she flew to such countries as Iraq, Germany, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Pickler idolizes Dolly Parton. Thanks to Sony BMG Nashville chairman Joe Galante, she had the opportunity to meet the country music superstar on February 26, 2007, in a surprise encounter arranged by him. She enjoys music by Kelly Clarkson and Keith Urban and is a fan of music by Queen. Pickler is close friends with Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and “American Idol” roommate Katharine McPhee. She is also a NASCAR lover.

On a more personal note, Pickler was romantically linked to Nashville Predators player Jordin Tootoo in 2007, but they later split up. She is now dating songwriter Kyle Jacobs, who co-wrote two songs on the “Kellie Pickler” album.


Childhood and Family:

“My mother left me when I was 2 years old, which is devastating to a child because you wonder why in the heck your mother won't have anything to do with you.” Kellie Pickler

Kellie Dawn Pickler was born on June 28, 1986, in Albemarle, North Carolina, to teen mother Cynthia Morton and frequent drug user and alcoholic father Clyde 'Bo' Pickler, Jr. Her mother abandoned her when she was only two years old. Because her father spent most of his time in and out of jail during her youth, Kellie was raised under the guidance of her paternal grandparents, Clyde Pickler Sr., who earned a living as an electrician, and Faye Pickler. She lived with them in a small town near Albemarle called Palestine until her grandmother passed away in January 2002. She continued to live with her grandfather until she became a contestant on “American Idol.” Commenting on her grandmother's death, she stated, “Of all the things I have been through in my life, the hardest thing I've ever gone through is the loss of my grandmother. She was always there for me, and then she was gone.”

Known to friends by the nicknames Kelsie and Pickles, Kellie attended North Stanly High School in New London, North Carolina, and was a cheerleader. In 2003, at age 17, she embarked on the Miss America scene and was soon crowned “Miss Stanly Country.” She next competed for the 2004 Miss North Carolina title. Kellie, who graduated from high school that same year, later quit to pursue her education. She enrolled at nearby Stanly Community College to study cosmetology.

Kellie has a younger brother named Eric. She also has a stepsister named Courtney (through her father) and a stepbrother named Michael (through her mother).

I Wonder


A waitress at a Sonic, Kellie Pickler participated in WSOC-TV's “Gimme the Mike! Charlotte” contest in 2005 and ended up being a runner up. It was not until the 19-year-old former beauty queen auditioned for “American Idol” in the fall of 2005 that she started gaining wide recognition. In order to focus on the contest, she decided to put her studies on the back burner.

Auditioning in Greensboro, North Carolina, Pickler won the heart of the judges after performing “A Broken Wing” by Martina McBride and “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, and subsequently went to Hollywood. One of Simon Cowell's favorites, she made it to the semi-finals in February 2006 and became one of the Top 12 finalists on March 9. She continued to attract attention with her country sound and southern appeal until she was voted off the show on April 26, 2006.

Just like many other former Idol contestants, Pickler made appearances in a number of shows promoting the TV series after her elimination. In some of her performances, she was spotted singing the country hit “Walkin' After Midnight,” popularized by Patsy Cline in 1957. She also spent three months touring cities as part of the American Idol Pop Tarts tour group.

After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, Pickler signed a recording deal with 19 Recordings/BNA Records in July 2006. Her first single, “Red High Heels,” was released on September 13, 2006. Co-written by Pickler, Chris Lindsey, Aimee Mayo and Karyn Rochelle, the song debuted at No. 48 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and rose to the Top 15. It also peaked at No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 69 on the Billboard Pop 100, and became a Top 31 hit in Canada. “Red High Heels” won Pickler a Songwriter award from the 2007 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Awards for Most Performed Country Song of the Year and the video, which topped the GAC Top 20 Countdown on February 9, 2007, received a nomination for Breakthrough Video of The Year at the 2007 Country Music Television Awards.

The first album, “Small Town Girl,” followed on October 31, 2006. Produced by Blake Chancey, the album sold over 79,000 copies in its first week, which made the singer the best selling new country solo artist of 2006. It debuted at No. 9 on Billboard's Top 200 and became a chart-topper on Billboard's Top Country Albums. With her No. 1 hit album, Pickler made a name for herself as the only two “American Idol” alumni to have such a successful album. The first was Idol winner Carrie Underwood with her album “Some Hearts” (2005).

In addition to “Red High Heels,” Pickler also co-wrote the songs “I Wonder,” “Small Town Girl,” “One of the Guys” and “My Angel” for the album. Released as the second single on March 7, 2007, “I Wonder” became her next Top 15 Country hit. Through the single, Pickler took home three Country Music Television awards for Breakthrough Video of The Year, Tearjerker Video of The Year and Performance of The Year, and a Songwriter award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

From April to October 2007, Pickler hit the road as an opening act for the Brad Paisley “Bonfires & Amplifiers” concert tour. During the tour, she visited nearly 40 cities in the U.S. In September 2007, she recorded a version of “Santa Baby” for a Christmas country compilation.

Also in 2007, Pickler was nominated for Top New Female Vocalist of the Year at the 42nd Academy of Country Music Awards. She also received the Horizon Award nomination from the 2007 Country Music Association Awards.

Pickler's sophomore effort, “Kellie Pickler,” was launched on September 30, 2008. It debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart and became her second consecutive No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. In Canada, it peaked at No. 4 on the Canada Top Country Albums chart.

The lead-off single, “Don't You Know You're Beautiful,” which Pickler first performed at the 43rd Academy of Country Music Awards on May 18, 2008, rose to No. 21 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and became a Top 20 hit and a Top 40 hit in Australia and Canada, respectively.

The second single, “Best Days of Your Life,” was released on December 1, 2008. She first introduced the song at the 42nd Country Music Association Awards on November 12, 2008, where she was also nominated for New Artist of the Year. Pickler co-wrote the song with fellow country singer and close friend Taylor Swift. The talented artist further showed her songwriting talents in the songs “Rocks Instead of Rice,” “One Last Time,” “Somebody to Love Me” and “Going Out in Style.” “Kellie Pickler” also comprises of the re-recorded version of “Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You,” and “Lucky You,” which was previously co-written and recorded by Catherine Britt on her third full-length studio album “Little Wildflower.”

Since her participation in “American Idol,” Picker has been featured in numerous TV shows, including “Total Request Live,” “The Today Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Larry King Live,” “Live with Regis & Katie Lee,” “Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Bonnie Hunt Show.” She was a co-host on “The View” in 2007 and became a correspondent in New York's Times Square for Dick Clark's “New Year's Rockin' Eve 2009” with Ryan Seacrest.


  • Country Music Television: Breakthrough Video of The Year, “I Wonder,” 2008

  • Country Music Television: Tearjerker Video of The Year, “I Wonder,” 2008

  • Country Music Television: Performance of The Year, “I Wonder @ CMA Awards,” 2008

  • American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers: Songwriter Award, “I Wonder” (Most Performed Country Songs of the Year), 2008

  • American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers: Songwriter Award, “Red High Heels” (Most Performed Country Songs of the Year), 2007

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