Where Are They Now? Scotty McCreery’s Journey From Season 10 ‘American Idol’ Champ, Family, and the Grand Ole Opry

After winning season 10 of American Idol in 2011 at the age of 17, Scott McCreery has continued building one of the most successful careers in country music. Since his Idol win, McCreery has had three No. 1 albums and five Country Airplay chart-toppers—”Five More Minutes,” “This Is It,” “In Between,” “You Time,” and “Damn Strait.”

The Garner, North Carolina native continued reaching more milestones since 2011, winning an ACM for Best New Artist, a CMT, three BMIs, and more in the 13 years since Idol.

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[RELATED: Scotty McCreery Hits Fourth No. 1 with “You Time”]

‘Clear As Day’

McCreery’s 2011 debut Clear As Day also topped five charts—the Billboard 200, Top Current Albums, Digital Albums, Internet Albums, and Top Country Albums—placing him in the ranks of fellow American Idol alums Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Carrie UnderwoodChris Daughtry, and Adam Lambert, who had No. 1 albums.

Clear As Day was also the first debut album from an American Idol winner to top the charts since Studdard’s Soulful in 2003. McCreery, who was 18 when the album was released, became the youngest male artist to top the chart with their debut.

A year later, McCreery released the holiday album Christmas with Scotty McCreery, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart and peaked at No. 2 on the Hot Country Albums and No. 4 on the 200 charts. In 2013, McCreery earned another No. 1 album with See You Tonight and a third with his fourth album Seasons Change in 2018, along with its three chart-toppers “Five More Minutes,” “This Is It,” and “In Between.”

McCreery released Same Truck in 2021, and his fourth and fifth No. 1s, respectively, “You Time” and “Damn Strait,” which he performed on The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2021, followed by a sixth album, Rise & Fall (May 2024).

Family Man

Along with building his career, McCreery has also built his own family with his wife, Gabi, and their son Avery, who was born in 2022.

[RELATED: Gut Punch to The Heart: The Meaning Behind “Damn Strait” by Scotty McCreery]

In 2021, McCreery released his single “It Matters to Her,” from his fifth album Same Truck, which reached the top 10 on the Country chart. The music video, directed by Jeff Ray, plays like a photo album of him and his wife welcoming their first child, including footage of the day she found out she was pregnant (February 25, 2022) to ultrasounds, painting his nursery, and more.

“I thought it would be a perfect thing to showcase our journey, pregnancy, and that whole nine-month process,” shared McCreery of the video. “Gabi’s doing the hard work, of course, and it’s my job to help her and be there for her and just getting the house ready and getting ourselves ready, the dog ready, everything ready for Avery. The video came out better than I could have imagined. I’m excited for Avery to watch the video a few years from now and see what he thinks.”

Grand Ole Opry

On Saturday, April 20, 2024, one of McCreery’s dreams came true when he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was welcomed by two of his musical heroes, Randy Travis and Josh Turner.

Welcoming McCreery to the Opry family, Turned recited the chorus of George Jones‘ 1983 hit “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”: Who’s gonna fill their shoes / Who’s gonna stand that tall? / Who’s gonna play the Opry / and the Wabash Cannonball / Who’s gonna give their heart and soul / To get to me and you? / Lord, I wonder who’s gonna fill their shoes.

“Scotty is not only a fine singer and a songwriter but he’s a great man, husband, and now father,” said an emotional Turner before handing McCreery the Opry Member Award. “I’m proud of him and I’m proud that he is filling the shoes of the artists before him. With artists like him, country music is in great shape.”

In December of 2023, McCreery first learned that he was joining the Opry when Garth Brooks surprised him with the news during the Opry Country Christmas concert. “Merry Christmas,” Brooks told told McCreery. 

[RELATED: Garth Brooks Invites Scotty McCreery to Join the Grand Ole Opry]

“This is a Christmas present to the Grand Ole Opry,” Brooks told McCreery. “We would love to invite you to be the newest member of the Opry.” McCreery said, “When I got started doing this people asked, ‘What are your goals,’ and I’d say ‘One day I’d like to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.’”

The day after McCreery joined the Opry, he added “I’ve always revered the Opry for its deep history, tradition, and what it’s meant to country music. I hoped one day, through a lot of hard work, I would one day be considered worthy of joining their amazing family. Last night, that dream became reality,”

Photo: Catherine Powell/FilmMagic

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