Nashville is a place where dreams have a magical way of coming true, and for a select group of music fans on Saturday night, Kellie Pickler delivered a too-good-to-be true performance for an intimate crowd just south of Music City. In addition to performing, Pickler chatted with Billboard and shared how excited she is to be creating some new music.
"I'm working on my fifth album. I'm in the whole songwriting and song-picking process. We're in the very early stages of working on it," Pickler tells Billboard. "It's always great to have new music out -- to freshen up the set list, and it's exciting for the country fans. They are always eager to have new music.
"It's interesting that when you're working on an album, you pretty much live with it for the year that you're working on it. Then you send it off for the copies to be made, and the artwork to be produced and distributed. That takes months. So you've lived with the album for almost a year before anyone hears it. Then, by the time it comes out, you're ready for the next one, because you're sung it a million times -- but not for anyone outside of your circle."
Pickler's intimate Saturday night show was part of the Hear The Music, See The World concert series at Four Points by Sheraton Nashville-Brentwood, put on by Starwood Preferred Guest and Live Nation. Prior to her show, some audience members used their SPG points to attend a meet-and-greet with Pickler.
When asked about meeting her favorite idols, Pickler didn't hesitate. "I'm a big sucker for the classics, and I love me some Dolly Parton. I definitely enjoyed meeting her. She is such a wonderful asset to country music and the music business in general. She's done it all, and is someone you could learn a lot from. Reba McEntire is amazing, too. I've been lucky to meet her several times."
Another amazing experience for Picker was performing last October with Kenny Rogers. "That was such a surreal moment for me," she recalls. "I will never forget the invite. He was going to do a benefit for Cumberland Heights at the Ryman. He had recorded 'Someone Somewhere Tonight,' then I recorded it last year for The Woman I Am. He loved what I did with it, and of course, who doesn't love what he does? It just made sense for us to come together and to perform the song as a duet.
"I was so nervous. I will never forget it. I remember watching him and Dolly sing 'Islands In The Stream,' so I told myself that I was going to pretend I was Dolly for a second. It was a special moment, for sure -- especially there. There's no bigger stage in country music than the Ryman."
Pickler tells Billboard she was flattered SPG choose her as the Nashville represenative in their concert series. "I love Nashville, and it's the place that I've always wanted to call home as far back as I can remember. This is where I'm supposed to be, but with this crazy business, we live wherever the bus is parked," she says with a smile.