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Scotty McCreery croons Friday in Smithgall garden
Country music artist looks back on his life after winning 'American Idol'
“American Idol” season 10 winner Scotty McCreery parlayed his success into becoming a country music artist. He will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy in Gainesville.

Scotty McCreery

When:  8 p.m. Friday, July 17

Where: Atlanta Botanical Gardens, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville

Cost: $43.50 for nonmembers or $41.50 for members

More info: 404-888-4760 or

Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy guidelines

  • Spectators may sit on the grass in the amphitheater or bring a lawn chair. All chairs must have low backs (below the neck) and legs shorter than 10 inches.
  • The Ivester Amphitheater does not allow photography or smoking. Only service animals are allowed.
  • No outside food, beverages or coolers are permitted. Guests may purchase food from Fresh to Order. Beer, wine, soft drinks and bottled water may be bought at Smithgall garden.
  • Parking spaces are available off Cleveland Highway near the intersection of Limestone Parkway. Shuttles will depart from the location at 6:15 p.m. for platinum tickets and 6:30 p.m. for general admission tickets.
  • If you use will-call tickets, be prepared to show ID, the card you used to buy the tickets and the number of the order.

Scotty McCreery burst onto the national music scene in 2011 at age 17, quickly establishing himself as one of country music’s hottest new stars, following his win on “American Idol” in its 10th season.

After winning, McCreery released his debut album, which was the best-selling solo album released by a country artist in 2011. He became the youngest man in history to have his first album debut atop the all-genre Billboard Top 200 albums chart.

However, McCreery still maintains the typical guy next door attitude, which is apparent when he returned to graduate from his local high school following his “American Idol” victory. He later enrolled at North Carolina State University and can be found at Wolfpack basketball games. He also attended the Super Bowl and plays golf around the country as he tours.

In four years’ time, the 21-year-old has sold nearly 2.5 million albums and received platinum and gold album certifications with three consecutive albums debuting at No. 1 on a Billboard chart.

He achieved three platinum-certified singles and two Top 10 hits, toured with Brad Paisley and The Band Perry, headlined his own tours, earned industry and fan accolades, amassed more than 3 million followers on Facebook and Twitter and received more than 150 million YouTube views.

Now his deep voice will resonate through the woods as he performs a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, July 17, at Atlanta Botanical Gardens, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, in Gainesville. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. at 1911 Sweetbay Drive.

Tickets are $43.50 for nonmembers or $41.50 for members. For tickets, call 404-888-4760 or visit

Earlier in the week, McCreery responded to The Times about his desire to become a country music artist and his life since winning “American Idol.”

Question: Was it always your dream to be a country music artist?

Answer: I was raised on country music and Elvis and have always enjoyed singing. I’ve wanted to be a country music singer since I was a young kid. In fact, my plan was to go to Nashville after graduation long before I auditioned for “American Idol.”

Q: As a young person, how have you handled your rise to fame while still going to college and being a “normal” guy?

A: I am from a small town in North Carolina, and I have been lucky enough to have had the same friends since I was a boy. We’ve gone to school together, played sports together and hung out together most of our lives. Thankfully, they never fail to keep me from getting a big head. I’m also a pretty laid-back guy. God, friends and family, music and sports, and time on the beach — that’s really all I need.

Q: What do you most enjoy about touring this summer?

A: Getting to share my music with the fans and meet so many of them on the road is always exciting. I love hanging out with my band guys. We have so much fun together. Occasionally, my boys back home come out on the road with me and I get to share a bit of this world with them. I’ve always dreamed of touring and performing across the country and now I’m doing it. It’s fantastic!

I also love to catch baseball and football games if I have time when I’m traveling. I wish I could see the Braves play this weekend — they are one of my favorite baseball teams — but we’re just in for the show on Friday night and then back on the road again.

Q: How would you say you’ve changed since you first auditioned and won “American Idol?”

A: I won “Idol” when I was 17 and I’m now 21, so there are the normal changes that a young man goes through during that time. I’ve had a great four years following my dreams since winning the show, and I have become even more grateful for all the blessings in my life. 

Q: What do you love about country music in particular?

A: At its core, country music is real. It’s real stories about life and love, good times and bad. I could listen to artists like Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks, Josh Turner, and so many more sing all day long. 


McCreery will tour with Rascal Flatts on their Riot Tour 2015 this summer in addition to doing solo dates throughout the year.

For more information on Scotty McCreery, visit For more information on the Smithgall garden, visit