Born on June 28, 1986 in North Carolina, Kellie Dawn Pickler is a country artist who rose to fame during season 5 of “American Idol,” where she finished in sixth place. She subsequently went on to record three albums (“Small Town Girl,” “Kellie Pickler” and “100 Proof”) and win three CMT Awards.
Her nickname is Kelsie and her trademark is her red high heels. US Weekly called her The Next Jessica Simpson because of her “sweet Southern style and ditzy demeanor.” In her defense, Pickler said growing up she wasn’t exposed to modern pop culture.
When Kellie was two, her mother left. She later came back and took custody of Kellie. Her father was in trouble with the law, so Kellie lived with her grandparents until she was 12. She said of her life, “I’ve always been the joker, the class clown. Music and laughter is how I dealt with everything. I’d rather laugh about it than cry about it.”
Kellie Pickler graduated in 2004 from North Stanly High School in New London, North Carolina. While she was there, she was a cheerleader and beauty queen. She also worked part-time as a roller-skating waitress at Sonic. When she was 17, she won the Miss Stanly County contest and advanced to the Miss Carolina pageant, where she was eliminated. Kellie Pickler said, “I really am not a beauty queen. I’m the biggest slob. All I could think about was ‘I want to win the talent portion.’” Her idol is Dolly Parton.
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At the age of 19, Kellie auditioned for “American Idol” and she advanced to Hollywood and through the semi-final rounds, making it all the Way to the Top 6.
After her appearance in 2006 on “American Idol,” she signed with Sony BMG in Nashville and released her first single, “Red High Heels.” Her debut album “Small Town Girl” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The album also spawned the hit “I Wonder.”
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In 2007, Kellie Pickler appeared on “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” and was lampooned for her lack of knowledge. She said, “Maybe I’m not book-smart, but I’m street-smart.”
Kellie Pickler is a vegetarian and an animal lover. At one point, she had three dogs, a monkey, a snake and a cat as pets.
In 2010, she purchased a home in Nashville for a reported $1.4 million, complete with an elevator.
She married songwriter Kyle Jacobs in January 2011. In September 2012, Kellie Pickler shaved her head to show support for her best friend who was battling breast cancer.
Kellie Pickler is set to join the cast of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2013.