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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- She is a hometown girl, who has made it big in the country music world, and she s back in Charlotte for a local concert to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Kellie Pickler talked about her tour with best friend and chart topper Taylor Swift, how much she loves writing songs and how important it is to give back.

It'll always mean the world to me when I come home and people are so supportive and just there for me, Pickler said. It means a lot.

Pickler will hit the stage Tuesday night at Coyote Joe s with Darius Rucker, Rodney Atkins, Jason Michael Carroll and Lee Ann Womack.

Pickler thinks there is a responsibility that comes with being famous.

Being in a position where you can bring awareness and do good things...its' very important, she said.

When she s away from home she misses her animals. Her cat recently died and it showed how much she loves animals when Larry Sprinkle walked into the studio with this week s Tailwagger. It s a cat named Lewis.

Pickler is in town just for a night and is headed to Tampa for the start of her tour with Taylor Swift.

We re going to Tampa right after the show tonight and so I think we have a rehearsal day tomorrow and then the first day for the Fearless tour starts Thursday, Pickler said.

And in between those concerts and rehearsals there's more. She s working on her third album.

I've been writing a lot and I'm getting ready to go in the studio next week, she said.

Her life reads like a good country music song: an absent mother, a father in and out of jail and grandparents who surrounded her with nothing but love.

I've always been a huge fan of country music and what country music is all about... and it's about telling a story and I love when those stories are true stories and real stories about someone s life, the Albemarle native said.

For Pickler, song writing serves an important dual purpose.

Honestly that's my favorite part of making a record. I love sitting down with pen and paper and writing my thoughts and ideas and feelings and emotions and different things out on paper, Pickler said. And it is very therapeutic and it doesn't cost anything. So free therapy.

Kellie Pickler on Charlotte Today

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