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Scotty McCreery performs at Ohio University’s Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Sept. 8, 2016. (FILE)

Scotty McCreery to perform in MemAud on Friday

When “Five More Minutes” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, Scotty McCreery and his wife, Gabi, were in the mountains. They popped a bottle of champagne at midnight when it was made official and “sprayed it like we won the World Series,” McCreery said.

“Five More Minutes” was McCreery’s first No. 1 song, which he sang last time he performed at Ohio University. 

“The beauty of country music is that the songs you write, the songs you sing, are so relatable to a lot of folks,” McCreery said. “I think that’s why it kind of connected with people, because I was writing it from my own point of view. But I think we all know what it feels like to love somebody and lose somebody and want to spend some more time with them. Any time I sing (“Five More Minutes”) now, hearing the crowd sing it back to me just because it was a No. 1 song, it’s pretty awesome.”

The country musician will return to OU for his third time in four years. Tenille Arts will open the Friday performance at 8 p.m. in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

“We wouldn’t typically bring back an artist three times, but he’s always been a crowd favorite. People always leave the show excited and happy,” Andrew Holzaepfel, senior associate director for student activities, said. “So much has changed in his world that it just felt great to bring him back.”

In the past two years, McCreery landed his first No. 1 song and his first No. 1 album, Seasons Change, and he married Gabi. 

“I’ve lived a lot of life. I’ve had a lot of experiences — good and bad. That’s the stuff that shapes life in general and also songwriting and the career,” McCreery said. “Luckily, this year it’s been pretty much all good between the music working and getting my first No. 1, and obviously getting married was huge. So it’s been a great year, and we’re having a lot of fun.” 

McCreery and Gabi tied the knot June 16, and McCreery’s video for “This Is It” documented the milestone. McCreery wrote the song for Gabi and never expected it to be a single, but the record label loved it. The video has more than 13 million views on YouTube. 

“I’ve been doing this for pretty much as long as me and Gabi have been together, so (the fans have) been on the ride with us,” McCreery said. “As far as the music video goes, we wanted to kind of invite them to our wedding and have that be our wedding video.”

On top of all his professional achievements, McCreery’s favorite baseball team is having a monumental year, as well. On Sept. 24, the Boston Red Sox beat their all-time team winning record, securing the team’s 106th win of the season

The Red Sox will kick off their playoff run the same day as his OU performance. Whenever there is a game on the tour, McCreery and his band build a campfire near the tour bus and sit around and watch the game. 

When McCreery last visited OU, he walked around campus and snuck into the back of some of the classrooms. McCreery was just getting out of college at the time, and he said walking the campus really took him back.

“It’s a beautiful campus, and everybody has always treated us so nice,” McCreery said. “We’ve always had a good time with the show.”

Kaylyn Schaffranek, a sophomore studying psychology and criminology, rooted for McCreery on his 2011 run on American Idol, which put him on the map as a country artist.

“He was my favorite. I just thought he was a cutie. He has a good voice,” Schaffranek said. “He’s got a deep voice. I like that he doesn’t look like he has a deep voice.”

During his most recent performance, McCreery performed a stripped down set of his audition songs from American Idol, including John Mayer’s “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight” and Josh Turner’s “Your Man.” 

Playing smaller venues allows McCreery to connect more with the audience. He can see people’s faces instead of a “big black space” like when he’s performing in bigger locations.

“It’s always nice to see the crowd and interact with them,” McCreery said. “You feel like you’re right there with them.”


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