Although "American Idol" viewers did not "pick Pickler" as last season's winner, Kellie Pickler still has her share of fans.Although "American Idol" viewers didn't "pick Pickler" as last season's winner, Kellie Pickler still has her share of fans.
In fact, the 20-year-old already has her first charting single with "Red High Heels," which is No. 41 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The song is from her 19 Recordings/BNA Records debut, "Small Town Girl," which will be released on Oct. 31
It was a last-minute addition that was co-written by Pickler, who is a self-diagnosed shoe addict.
"I thought, you know what? Out of all the songs I have on the album, I don't have one to express my love for shoes," Pickler tells Billboard.com. "So I said, why don't we create a girls' anthem around my favorite pair of shoes? I have these red high heels that I wore on 'American Idol' and on the tour this summer, and we just kinda created a girls' anthem around them that's sassy, fun and upbeat. I had fun doing it."
Pickler's sweet and simple demeanor helped her finish in sixth place on the fifth season of the Fox reality TV show. But now the North Carolina native is working hard to move past the 'Idol' moniker and make a name for herself in country music.
"I co-wrote pretty much half the album," she says. "I think it's important on your first album to come out with your own material. It's nice and very refreshing because on 'Idol' we weren't able to sing or write our own songs. We had to sing cover songs or other artists' songs, which is OK, but I'm glad that I'm finally able put a name out there for myself other than 'Kellie's the girl that sung Bohemian Rhapsody.' It's kinda nice to think, 'Kellie's the one who sung her own song.'"
The album, which was produced by Blake Chancey (Dixie Chicks), will mainly appeal to country music fans, but Pickler hopes there's something on it for everybody.
"I've just tried to put a piece of my life in each one of the songs to kind of make the listeners feel like I'm singing to them," she says. "'American Idol' showcased a lot of my personality and a lot about my family, but there's so much that 'Idol' didn't reveal about my life. So with this album I'm trying to let everyone know who I am. It's a fun album. There's fast songs, ones that you can tap your feet to, as well as ones about getting your heart broken. It definitely covers all the feelings and aspects of life."
Just don't hold your breathe for any duets any time soon.
"I didn't want anyone else singing on the album because I think it's important that I establish myself as a country artist first and then branch out and perform with other artists," she says. "I think it's important on your first album to kinda hit a home run on your own and let everyone know you can do it solo. It's just really important for me to feel like I kinda accomplished it on my own."