At age 19, this perky small-town waitress from North Carolina auditioned for Season 5 of American Idol. With her all-American good looks and harrowing sob story (her mom was MIA and her dad was in jail), she soon won over audiences while showcasing a powerhouse voice and charming naiveté (she routinely mispronounced words). She also found a fan in judge Simon Cowell, who predicted she would see the competition through to the end. She didn't win, but finished sixth and landed a record deal. Her first album of country music was the appropriately titled Small Town Girl, released in October 2006. A self-titled album followed in 2008, debuting at No. 9 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and spawning a number of hit singles including "Best Days of Your Life." Pickler has performed on several USO tours and supports the Memphis-based St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
- Won the 2004 Miss Stanly County Pageant and moved on to the Miss North Carolina Pageant, becoming its youngest competitor at age 17.
- Was a roller-skating waitress at a Sonic restaurant when she auditioned for Season 5 of American Idol.
- Never flew in a plane until her trip to Hollywood to appear on American Idol.
- Upon her return home to Albermarle, NC, in May 2006, she was greeted by thousands of well-wishers, including her estranged father, ex-con Clyde "Bo" Pickler.
- Was a bridesmaid at Katharine McPhee's February 2, 2008 wedding to Nick Cokas.
- Has performed on several USO tours.
- Gave up eating meat in 2008 and was named Sexiest Vegetarian Alive (female) by PETA in 2009.
- Ranked No. 5 on Forbes' 2009 list of American Idol top earners.
- Actively supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and has visited the patients there.
- 2012, CMT Music Awards — Female Video of the Year: Nominee
- 2008, CMT Music Awards — Performance Video of the Year: Winner
- 2007, CMT Music Awards — Breakthrough Video of the Year: Nominee
- 2008, CMT Music Awards — Breakthrough Video of the Year: Winner
- 2008, CMT Music Awards — Tearjerker Video of the Year: Winner
- 2009, CMT Music Awards — Female Video of the Year: Nominee
- 2010, CMT Music Awards — Collaborative Video of the Year: Nominee
- Clyde Pickler Sr. — Grandfather
- Faye Pickler — Grandmother
- Clyde 'Bo' Pickler Jr. — Father
- Jordin Tootoo — Ex-significant Other
- Kyle Jacobs — Husband
- Cynthia Morton — Mother
- Eric — Brother
- Ken Morton — Grandfather
- Attended Stanly Community College, Albemarle, North Carolina, United States
- Birth Name: Kellie Dawn Pickler
- Birth Place: Albemarle, North Carolina, United States
- Profession: Singer, Reality-show contestant