Published: Thu, June 14, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.By John Benson
Remember when reality set in a year after graduating from high school that your class wasn’t of the present but of the past?
That’s what “American Idol” season 10 winner Scotty McCreery would have felt last month watching Philip Phillips become the latest winner of the reality show. That is, if he had graduated from high school. It wasn’t until last week when the 18-year-old received his diploma from Garner Magnet High School.
It’s been a wild and crazy year for the country singer, who not only won “American Idol” with a then record-breaking 122.4 million votes but watched his debut single, “I Love You This Big,” became a Top 15 hit and his debut album, “Clear As Day,” go platinum.
“Oh my goodness, I didn’t expect any of this,” said McCreery, calling from his home in Garner, N.C. “I didn’t expect to come off the show and have this kind of crazy year. I was hoping we could have a solid year, put out a good album and hopefully get on a good tour, but there’s been so many blessings that have come my way with award shows or being on the road with Brad Paisley. The fans have been absolutely incredible to me. It’s been pretty insane watching it all fold out.”
The 2011 American Country Awards’ Artist of the Year: New Artist winner and 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards’ Best New Artist has spent much of this year as an opener for Brad Paisley’s “The Virtual Reality Tour 2012,” which comes to Ohio for a show at Blossom Music Center on Friday. In fact, McCreery was touring on the weekends while attending school Monday through Wednesday.
McCreery said he’s fine with the spotlight moving slightly away from his reality-show connection and more toward “Clear as Day,” which has a classic and contemporary feel.
However, McCreery said it’s his latest single, “Water Tower Town,” that epitomizes what he’s all about, which is being a small-town guy hanging out with his buddies. As for those friends, they’re apparently keeping him grounded.
“My buddies are the ones who hate on me the most,” he said. “I appreciate them slapping me around a little bit.”