Born June 28, 1986, in North Carolina, Kellie Pickler is truly your small-town girl. During her youth, Kellie took part in her high school's cheerleading program and also enjoyed competing in beauty pageants, even winning the "Miss Stanly County" pageant at just 17! 

Growing up listening to strong female country artists like LeAnn Rimes and Dolly Parton, Kellie was encouraged to begin competing in music contests. In 2005, she came in second place on a local TV station's singing contest, and that same year decided to audition for American Idol

Kellie Pickler on American Idol

In 2005, Kellie Pickler auditioned for season five of hit singing show American Idol with songs by two strong female artists, winner of American Idol season one Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing". 

It wouldn't take long for Kellie to become a fan favorite on the show, and she even won over the heart of normally hard to please judge Simon Cowell! Cowell even noted that he preferred Kellie over season four winner, Carrie Underwood! 

Kellie Pickler Today

Kellie Pickler would make it to the top 6 before being eliminated from American Idol. Even though she didn't win, she has gone on to become a hit sensation in country music! Since her time on American Idol, Kellie has released four albums and produced hit singles including "Best Days of Your Life", "Red High Heels", and "Don't You Know You're Beautiful". 

In 2011, Kellie would marry the man of her dreams, songwriter Kyle Jacobs. While the couple has yet to have any kids, Kellie continues to have a large influence on country music and you will often catch her on tour and promoting causes she holds dear to her heart, like raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and supporting troops overseas. 

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