Seven years after Scotty McCreery won ‘American Idol,’ he’s got his first No. 1 single

Since Scotty McCreery won “American Idol” seven years ago, the Garner native has had plenty of chart success, including Top 10 singles and No. 1 albums on Billboard’s country charts.

But he’s never had a song hit No. 1 on the Billboard country charts – until now.

“Five More Minutes,” the first single from McCreery’s upcoming album “Seasons Change,” turned the trick this week by hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. The song was originally released last year and was given a renewed push by McCreery’s label to lead “Seasons Change.”

“I’m excited,” McCreery said Monday after getting the news. “It was a big mountain to climb.

“Albums are cool, and a lot of that on the Billboard 200 was heat from the show,” he said, referring to “Clear as Day,” his debut album after winning Season 10 of the FOX singing reality competition in May 2011.

“But this gives more validity to what I’ve been doing,” he said. “Credibility as an artist has been the goal the last few years – to move away from the TV guy who was on ‘American Idol’ to be a country artist with songs and stories.”

“Five More Minutes” is co-written by McCreery, Monty Criswell and Frank Rogers. It’s inspired by McCreery’s grandfather, who died three years ago. The lyrics recall various scenes, including his grandfather’s death, with the chorus each time asking for “five more minutes.”

The video features family home-movie footage from over the years, too. It’s still, McCreery admits, an emotional song to sing.

Seasons Change
“Seasons Change” by Scotty McCreery will be released March 16, 2018. Jeff Ray for Triple Tigers Records/Sony Music Entertainment

“At the Opry, you can see on the YouTube video, I get a little bit choked up,” he said. “There are certain times it gets to me. Nowadays when I sing it, I kinda look at the spotlight shining and to me, it might be a little weird but I like to think that’s grandaddy looking down on me when I’m singing it. That’s a little comfort.”

“Seasons Change” will be released on March 16. McCreery’s promotional run-up includes a Saturday show at Greensboro’s Cone Denim Entertainment Center, as well as an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show the week of the album’s release.

Reserved tickets to the Greensboro show are sold out, but general admission standing-only spots are available at ticketmaster.com.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

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