Scotty McCreery On the ‘Roller Coaster of ‘American Idol,’ Talks New Album

Scotty McCreery might have an entirely different career, if not for American Idol. Only 16 years old when he auditioned for the reality TV talent show, McCreery had no idea how much that one audition would change everything for him, and quickly.

“It was a roller coaster,” McCreery recalls on The Jennifer Hudson Show. “One day I was bagging groceries back home in North Carolina, and the next, it’s like ‘Lights! Camera! Action! 30 million people are watching. Here you go. Go do it.’ But I learned a lot. I had so much fun, and it opened so many doors for me.”

McCreery of course went on to win Season 10 of American Idol in 2011, catapulting him into a career with a plenty of highs and lows, which includes a lost record deal, six chart-topping singles, and a No. 1 album with his latest release, Rise and Fall.

“It’s been a wild ride,” McCreery admits. “I think if somebody would have told me back at 16, when I auditioned for the show that 13 years later you’ll still be doing it, writing country songs, touring the country, the world, having fun, I would have shook their hand in a heartbeat and said, ‘I’ll take that deal. This is fun.'”

Rise and Fall marked a new musical chapter for McCreery, both in the writing and recording of all of the songs on the album. The 30-year-old didn’t make Rise and Fall like any of his previous projects, a distinction that is evident in all 13 songs on the record.

“This album was so fun to make,” the new Grand Ole Opry member says. “Typically in Nashville, you write at 11:00. You go to the office with your buddies and you write a song. But this one, I brought all my buddies from Nashville to the mountains of North Carolina. We sat around a fireplace with guitars and just wrote country music. It felt like the old days.

“And creatively,” he continues, “I think it took me to a different place. We might have said things we wouldn’t have said in the office at 11, or thought of ideas we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I really love this album, and I hope people out there enjoy it.”

McCreery was already dating his wife, Gabi, when he tried out for American Idol. And now, 13 years after he was crowned the winner, they are happily married, and the proud parents of one-year-old Avery, although Gabi early on predicted they would build a life together.

“We met our very first day of kindergarten class,” McCreery reveals. “We found our kindergarten diary in her parents’ attic. It had ‘Gabi McCreery’ written in hearts all over it. … She’s the best thing ever.”

McCreery is back at radio with “Fall of Summer,” his second single from Rise and Fall, after “Cab In A Solo” landed at the top of the charts. Find Rise and Fall and all of McCreery’s music and upcoming shows at