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‘Idol’ winner, runner-up play like a country duo
Question of the Day
Just a week following the season finale of “American Idol,” the teenagers are together doing press like a team _ and this team doesn’t roll alone: They’re equipped with publicists, security guards, managers, record label extras and their real bosses _ their mothers.
Ahead of their “Idol” Top 11 tour _ which starts next month _ they will visit Nashville to begin prep on their debut albums.
“We’re going to work with the record people down there and get some songs straightened out and hopefully I’ll get to listen to them, get to learn them,” McCreery said.
“American Idol” _ the No. 1 rated show on TV _ can make you a star, but not all of the show’s winners actually come out on top. Remember Taylor Hicks? What about Ruben Studdard?
“Well, country fans are really loyal, so I think that’s why Scotty and I did so good,” she said. “We’re young and so we appeal to a younger crowd, and I think that the combination of those two things really helped us out.”
McCreery, a 17-year-old from Garner, N.C., said growing up, his friends listened to Backstreet Boys and `N Sync, while he jammed to Elvis and Johnny Cash.
“I guess you could say I was the weird one. But, no, I was the one who listened to good music,” he said. McCreery says that uniqueness _ along with his baritone-styled voice _ is what led to his victory.
“With the album I just want to establish myself as an artist and put my stamp on that album,” he said. “My main focus is going to be country music. That’s what I grew up with and what I love.”
So far, the country world has been accepting: McCreery and Alaina’s first singles have hit the Top 40 on the country charts and the Top 20 on the pop charts. Their label, Mercury Nashville, ran an ad in the Billboard Country Update, a web newsletter, welcoming the singers and thanking “Country Radio for a great start.”
But McCreery may already be on the pop route: His song, “I Love You This Big,” was co-written by Ester Dean, whose writing credits include No. 1 hits for Rihanna (“S&M,” “Rude Boy,” “What’s My Name?”) and Katy Perry (“Firework”). Dean has also written for Nicki Minaj and Usher.
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