The double life of country star Scotty McCreery
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — As it turns out, Scotty McCreery can have it all.
The platinum-selling teen and former "American Idol" champ began his freshman year at North Carolina State University recently and he's managed to work out a schedule that allows him to balance his college education with his country music education.
"I made a 98 on my first math test," McCreery said. "I was pumped about that because math is not one of my best things."
It's not the first test McCreery has passed on his quick rise to fame, first winning Season 10 of "Idol," then becoming the youngest male to enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1. While the siren call of celebrity has had a strong pull, McCreery has said all along he also wants to maintain the normal life he'd been planning before he was swept away by "Idol."
That's why he chose N.C. State over a school closer to Nashville. He lives in an off-campus apartment in Raleigh with lifelong friends, just 15 or 20 minutes from his home in Garner and only an hour from Music City by plane. He goes to class on Mondays and Wednesdays, where he's mostly been left alone to study by courteous fellow students. Then he either joins the Brad Paisley tour on the road or works with producer Mark Bright on writing and assembling songs for his next album.
He's even managed to slip in intramural football on Tuesdays. Well, most Tuesdays.
"Going to State, it gives me a chance to have a little bit of a home base, to have a little bit of normalcy — whatever normal is," McCreery said. "I think it's good for me as a person. I'm still figuring out what my normal is."
What isn't normal is the interest in McCreery by fans. His popularity is off the charts in the country music world where the average male star is usually in his 30s. McCreery doesn't turn 19 till later this month and there are signs everywhere that his popularity continues to grow. Billboard and Variety both just named him one of music's top young stars. And even his Christmas album, "Christmas with Scotty McCreery," due out next week, shows signs of unusually strong fan interest. It's Universal Music Group's top pre-order this year, outselling even Lady Gaga and Kanye West.
The goal now, McCreery says, is to lock in those fans, which requires him to seek a well-rounded education. Monday through Wednesday he's working on 12 credit hours toward his communications degree. Thursday through Sunday, it's all about learning the secrets of longevity in the country world.
About the only accolade McCreery doesn't have is a top 10 song at country radio, something he knows he'll need if he wants to be doing this at 40.
"We're still looking for songs because that's what the second album is about for me," McCreery said. "I'm going to be picking and choosing. Country music is about the songs. This last year I've had sold-out shows, I've won awards and stuff, but I haven't had that huge monster hit yet. That's a song I really need to have."
For the latest country music news from the Associated Press: http://twitter.com/AP_Country. Follow Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott.
- Michelle Williams and Jason Segel are moving on!
- Wedding bells and baby rattles for Jennifer Love H
- Gisele Bundchen's bikini bod after baby
- Kim Kardashian's Last Trip to Paris Before Baby
- Prince Harry's scandal-free trip to the US
- Miley and Liam: Engagement Intervention?
- The Kardashians Luxurious Greek Getaway
- Will Sharon and Ozzy’s marriage survive his addiction issues?
- Why does Bradley Cooper live with his mom?
- Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie's Hot Caribbean Vacation
- Heidi Klum's Dramatic Beach Rescue
- Is Hayden Panettiere Secretly Engaged?
- Is Lindsay Lohan Ready to Clean Up Her Life?
- Are Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth Over?
- Is Duchess Kate Expecting a Daughter?
Take a look back at Prince William and Duchess Kate's cutest couple moments.Watch Video »
Two months after major marital problems, Ozzy and Sharon do a Hollywood date night on Celebs gone Social.Watch Video »
Demi Lovato drops some major newborn scoop about Selena Gomez's family on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
See how this former Calvin Klein model's looks have changed over the years.Watch Video »
See how this country cutie has changed her looks over the years.Watch Video »
Star Inspired Ink
From Ryan Cabrera to Megan Fox, see celebs who've gotten tattoos of other stars.Watch Video »
From Videos of Wonderwall
From Crowd Ignite