Kellie Pickler to perform at Mayo Center

| 30 Jul 2012 | 03:21

MORRISTOWN — Former American Idol finalist and one of country's brightest young stars, Kellie Pickler performs hits "Red High Heels," "I Wonder,” "Best Days of Your Life," and more on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $37 to $67. The opening act is Canaan Smith Pickler established herself quickly as both a singer and a songwriter to be reckoned with, co-writing her first hit, "Red High Heels," her first gold single. Her debut album, Small Town Girl, produced two follow-up hits — the poignant "I Wonder," which she also co-wrote, and the light-hearted "Things That Never Cross A Man's Mind." Together, they propelled the release to near-platinum status. Her second album, Kellie Pickler, for which she co-wrote half the songs, spawned the uplifting "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" and "Best Days of Your Life." The latter, co-written by Pickler with Taylor Swift, quickly became the biggest hit of her career, rising to the Top Ten and earning gold in digital sales. In fact, the song speaks volumes about Pickler's life in that her close friendship with Swift, like her friendship with another co-writer, Aimee Mayo, has helped her with the process of seamlessly turning the ups and downs of her life into compelling art. Kellie's dream took root in Albemarle, North Carolina, where determination and optimism were her answers to an often tough and uncertain childhood. Raised by her grandparents, she developed the spirit of an inveterate dreamer. She took part in a handful of talent contests, worked as a Sonic waitress and studied to become a paralegal. Then, in the fall of 2005, she auditioned in Greensboro, N.C., for American Idol. Her raw talent and her attractive and unfiltered personality won her a legion of fans, among them d Simon Cowell. She reached the show's final 6, signed with BNA Records and recorded her first album in whirlwind sessions sandwiched between dates on the Idol tour. Kellie’s insulated upbringing left her with a thirst for travel, adventure and self-development. She explores the world both out of curiosity and out of a desire to take her talents where they can be of use to others. “The USO tours I’ve been part of have definitely been the highlight of my career and my life,” she says. “It has been the most impactful, life-changing thing I’ve been able to do.” Her first tour, to Iraq, became a GAC special, “My USO Diary,” and she followed that with a trip to Germany, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and England.