The Celebration of Champions on Wednesday, Aug. 10, features a young North Carolinian who gained national attention for his talent at the age of 17 when he competed in and won TV’s “American Idol” contest in 2011. A native of Garner, N.C., Scotty McCreery began learning guitar by the age of nine or 10, performed in elementary school choruses and participated in singing contests as he got older.
The Celebration of Champions at Keeter Stadium focuses on the eight teams from across the country who will contend for the ALWS championship. The teams will eat and have an opportunity to purchase souvenirs before the gates open to the public. The teams will participate in the Parade of Champions as they are introduced to the audience before the concert. Tickets for the concert will be $25; they go on sale at the ALWS office, 117-A West Warren Street, and via www.americanlegionworldseries.com on June 1. They will be available at the stadium the night of the concert, also.
After his “American Idol” win, McCreery spent most of 2012 opening for Brad Paisley’s Virtual Reality Tour 2012. “Clear as Day,” McCreery’s debut studio album (2011), earned platinum status in just 13 weeks; it included “I Love You This Big” and ‘The Trouble with Girls,” both of which reached the Top 20. His 2012 Christmas album has been certified gold. The title song “See You Tonight” from his third album, released in 2013, became his first song to reach the Top 10 on Billboard’s country charts. McCreery won New Artist of the Year at the 2011 American Country Awards and at the 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards. He was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2013 American Country Awards.
On Feb. 17, 2016, The Los Angeles Times reported that McCreery had been voted the “Best American Idol” in a poll of its readers. McCreery is preparing the release of an album later in 2016; the lead single “Southern Belle” is on the radio now. Also, McCreery’s biography, “Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream,” will be on bookshelves May 3, 2016.
McCreery played high school baseball and is a fan of the Boston Red Sox. In 2013, he was a blogger for Major League Baseball and did a MLB ballpark tour. He has contributed to MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and other youth baseball programs across the country.
“Scotty McCreery is a big win for us,” Holbrook says. “He is so popular with the age group represented by the ALWS players that he is a natural for the Celebration of Champions.”
Opening for McCreery will be Caroline Allen, a Shelby native who now hails from Nashville. A graduate of Shelby High School, Allen attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. She performed at the 2012 Clear Mountain View Music Festival in Lawndale and released her country music album, “Capella,” the same year.
Referring to the headline artists, Holbrook says, “This is an amazing lineup for the ALWS to acquire. The willingness of these major artists to come to Shelby-Cleveland County shows their support for youth baseball, veterans and active military personnel, and The American Legion. Our region will host three superb groups within a week’s time. Shelby-Cleveland County is certainly the place to be in August!”
General admission tickets $25
Gates open to public at 7:00 p.m.