On October 9, 1993, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery was born in Garner. More than 25,000 fans attended Scotty’s homecoming visit at Lake Benson Park the weekend before the finals show in 2011. Scotty recognized his Garner High School music teacher and mentor Meredith Clayton during the finale of American Idol by presenting her with the keys to a new car.
The young Garner resident, who is currently attending North Carolina State University, is the second Idol winner from North Carolina. Fantasia Barrino from High Point won season three of Idol and went on to play Celie in the Broadway production of The Color Purple.
Other North Carolinians who have used American Idol as a springboard to success include Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Anoop Desai and Bucky Covington.
The North Carolina Arts Council followed Scotty’s rise to the top in the blog NCArtsEveryday. Music teachers and other arts educators work every day to show students that the arts and culture can make a difference in their lives. Scotty is living proof.