Courtesy of Variety.com
By Iain Blair
Youth Impact Report 2012: Young at Chart
It's been quite a year for 18-year-old country singer Scotty McCreery. He won Season 10 of "American Idol" (the finale got a record-breaking 122.4 million votes and nearly 39 million viewers), released his debut album "Clear as Day" last October (it bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, spawned two gold singles, and went platinum within three months), won new artist of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April, and is touring with country superstar Brad Paisley through next month.
With his deep voice and love of "old country artists like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard," McCreery happily admits to being a throwback and says he's always bucked musical trends.
"As a kid, I was listening to Elvis and traditional country stuff while everyone else was into the Backstreet Boys," says the native of Garner, N.C.
"So I was the weird one, but it's paid off. A year or so ago, I was an average teenager, going to high school and working at the local grocery store. Now I'm on TV every week and playing huge shows."
McCreery credits his 'Idol' experience, "which was like boot camp for me," with preparing him for the past year. "It taught me how to deal with the media and all the pressure of touring and performing live for big audiences with Brad. I feel a lot older than 18, so much has happened so fast."
Impact: Won "American Idol," released a hit album, and won new artist of the year award.
Next: Releasing a Christmas album he recorded in Nashville ("I was singing 'Let It Snow' while it was 95 degrees outside," he says).
Cause: Operation Christmas Child
Scotty McCreery will be listed in the "2013 Guinness Book of World Records".
It was confirmed by the folks at Guinness that Scotty McCreery made it into the new Guinness World Records 2013 as the youngest male to enter the U.S. albums charts at #1." The event actually happened a year ago when Scotty's album "Clear As Day" debuted at #1 in October of 2011, when he was 17.
McCreery will release his new album, Christmas with Scotty McCreery, on October 16th which will feature traditional holiday songs as well as two new original tracks.
"Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year," he says. "And what is Christmas without music? We start listening to Christmas songs early in the McCreery household, so it felt right. I've always wanted to record a Christmas album since I've had my music career.
"It's a special thing for me," he says. "As a family, we were all really excited about making a Christmas album. Now we can add my CD to the collection we listen to."
Christmas with Scotty McCreery, an 11-song collection produced by Mark Bright, follows his debut album, Clear As Day.
McCreery's goal for his Christmas album was to create a body of work that makes people feel good and celebrate the birth of Jesus. "I just wanted it to be holly and jolly and really lift people's spirits in the Christmas season because it's supposed to be a really happy time. But I also wanted to get across the real reason for the season. 'Christmas in Heaven' is my favorite song on the album and it really speaks to that."
Of course, the album embraces the traditional country sound for which McCreery has become known, but he also stretches his boundaries a bit to showcase songs with a more rocking feel, like "Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Santa Claus Is Back in Town," and even create a musical atmosphere reminiscent of the Rat Pack on some songs.
"There will be some songs that sound like a different Scotty – not different as far as not country, but a different sound than they heard on the first album. Hopefully, they will be pleasantly surprised."
He says deciding which songs to record was the most difficult part of the process because there are so many great Christmas standards. "I knew of a few that I just had to do, like 'Mary, Did You Know?' and 'The First Noel.' Then we heard some originals that blew me away and it was a no-brainer to put them on the album. When I heard 'Christmas in Heaven,' I listened to the first verse and automatically said, 'You can stop it. That is on the album.'
"The other new song is called 'Christmas Is Coming Around,'" he says. "That's just a great story about Christmas time and really just lifting people's spirits. Times may be tough, but during Christmas, it needs to be a happy time."
Standards on the album include "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," "Let It Snow," "The Christmas Song" and "O Holy Night." "With me being such a huge Elvis fan, I had to have one Elvis song, so I chose 'Santa Claus Is Back in Town.'"