Alana Stewart, 17, was so eager for Scotty McCreery to sign her book Saturday, she drove by First Baptist Church Friday night at 11 p.m., to make sure no other people were camping out at the site.
She wanted to be the first in line and Stewart, a Clayton resident, was prepared to wait it out.
But no one was there yet. She woke up early the next day, got ready and drove back to First Baptist at about 8:30 a.m. A few women were there waiting for the 2:30 p.m. event. Among them were Paige Pope, 20, who drove two hours from Jacksonville, and Ann Stevens, 68, a Garner resident, who calls herself a “Scotty grandma fan.”
“We love Scotty,” they all said.
Pope said the first time she saw McCreery audition for “American Idol” she told herself that she would marry him someday.
“His voice, his looks, his personality,” Pope said with a smile on her face.
McCreery stopped by Garner Saturday to promote and sign copies of his new book, “Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream.” The book was released May 3, and Garner was the final stop on his 15-city book tour. More than 600 Scotty fans packed the First Baptist Church gym – some of them standing – just to get a glimpse of the former American Idol winner from Garner.
McCreery answered fan-submitted questions from “When will your next single be released?” to “When was the last time you ate Bojangles?”
“Today,” he said about Bojangles.
He thanked the residents of Garner for all their support during his “American Idol” days. He said when he was on the show, he always wanted to be in two places at once – Los Angeles and Garner.
“The first thing I’d do was go look up the viewing parties y’all would have here in Garner,” he said. “I would say ‘I wish I was there, but I’m glad I’m here, but I wish I could be there cheering with them.’ It just looked like so much fun.”
McCreery said his fondest memory of “Idol,” however, was when singer Beyoncé and her mom pulled him aside, off camera.
“Beyoncé said, ‘Hey, boy, come here.’ And I said ‘OK.’” McCreery recalled. “She said ‘Scotty, we just love you, son.’ I said, ‘Oh, alright. OK. I love you too Beyoncé. It’s mutual.’”
The crowd laughed.
After the question and answer session, McCreery played a few songs, including an unreleased new song,“Five More Minutes.”
Stevens, the “Scotty grandma fan” sang along with every word of his songs.
“He used to bag my groceries,” Stevens said. “Oh, yes.”
She said she loves Scotty’s love for God.
After Scotty performed a few songs, he signed copies of his book. “Go Big or Go Home” is about his experiences in the music industry, including the places he’s been, the people he’s met, and the highs and lows.
McCreery said he wrote the book to start a conversation.
“I’m just 22, but I have an interesting perspective on life because I’ve had to grow up and really live in an adult world,” McCreery said in an earlier phone interview. “Being the CEO of a business pretty much since 17, so hopefully folks can just take away a little something from what I’ve learned in just my short few years in the world.”
McCreery will return back to the Triangle and perform at The Farm in Selma June 4.