CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kellie Pickler fans sure got a treat Wednesday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame as the Albemarle native gave an acoustic performance for just a few hundred fans.
It was part of 103.7 FM WSOC’s Southern Girls Night Out to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
It was a very intimate setting and Pickler took the time to talk and say hello to the crowd.
“Let’s talk,” she said after she sang her first song.
One fan asked her how she got the courage to audition for "American Idol."
She choked up as she told the story of her grandfather encouraging her to go to Memphis for the auditions. But then Hurricane Katrina hit. There was another audition scheduled for Chicago. Picker said they couldn’t afford the trip.
She told her grandfather, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.
“But I got on my knees and prayed that night,” she said as she choked back tears.
Soon after it was announced that "American Idol" would hold auditions in Greensboro.
“I’m sure you haven’t heard that story. I don’t tell it much,” she told the crowd.
She auditioned for the show in the fall of 2005. Pickler is now happily married and working on a new album.
Wednesday night she sang only five songs and was on stage for less than an hour. While it may have been short, the up close and personal look at their "American Idol" star from North Carolina was a chance of a lifetime for some.
"It was awesome," said fan Sally Thompson. "She's a beautiful girl. She's down to earth and she's exactly what I thought she would be. Fame hasn't changed her."