Kellie Pickler was born in Albemarle, North Carolina on June 28, 1986. She is an award winning country artist and former contestant on “American Idol.”
Kellie had a difficult early life; her mother left when she was two and, although they were reunited briefly, she was raised by her grandparents. In 2004 she graduated from North Stanly High School in New London, North Carolina where she was a cheerleader and beauty queen.
She worked as a waitress and won several beauty contests and then, in 2005 when she was 19, auditioned for “American Idol” in Greensboro, North Carolina. She advanced through the semi-final rounds before finishing twelfth.
She signed with BNA Records and her first single and video, “Red High Heels,” debuted in September, 2006 and reached the top fifteen on Billboard’scountry chart; a month later, her debut album, Small Town Girl reached number one on Billboard’s country chart and number nine on Billboard’s top 200 album chart. Her second single, “I Wonder,” was also top fifteen on the singles chart and her third single, “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind” was also a hit, giving her
three hit singles from her debut album. Her “Gold Record” for her first album was presented by Rosie O’Donnell when Kellie co-hosted “The View.”
For Christmas, 2007, Kellie released the single, “Santa Baby.”
Her second album, Kellie Pickler, was released in 2008 and contained the hit singles “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” and “Best Days of Your Life,” which was co-written with Taylor Swift. Kellie Pickler opened for Taylor Swift on the latter’s “Fearless Tour” in 2009.
Kellie’s third album, 100 Proof, was released in June, 2011 and debuted at number two on the Billboard country album chart and number seven on the Billboard 200. The singles from that album, “Tough” and “100 Proof” both charted.
She has won songwriting awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for “Red High Heels,” ”I Wonder” and “Best Days of Your Life,” and won the “Breakthrough Video of the Year, the Tearjerker Video of the Year and Performance of the Year for her song “I Wonder” at the CMT Music Awards,
Kellie Pickler has been nominated for a number of major awards, including Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music, Breakthrough Video for “Red High Heels” by the
CMT Music Awards, the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association, Female Video by the CMT Music Awards for “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” Female Video for “Someone Somewhere Tonight” by the American Country Awards and “Female Country Artist by the Teen Choice Awards.
In 2008 and 2009 Kellie was voted “Most Beautiful Woman in Country Music” by the readers of Country Weekly magazine.
In 2012, she left BNA and signed with Black River Entertainment, which released her fourth album, The Woman I Am in 2013. Her singles from that album were “Someone Somewhere Tonight” and “Little Bit Gypsy.” In 2012, during the seventh inning stretch of baseball’s All Star game, Kellie sang “God Bless America”.
During the sixteenth season of “Dancing with the Stars” (2013) Kellie and her partner, Derek Hough, were declared the winners.
Kelly actively supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and helps raise funds for other charities such as Kids for a Cause Foundation Celebrity Auction, the American Red Cross and AARP’s Grandparenting program. She has performed on three USO tours which took her to Germany, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosov, England, Kuwait.