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Scott McCreery
© Isaac Brekken/AP -- Scott McCreery
The double life of country star Scotty McCreery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- As it turns out, Scotty McCreery can have it all.

The platinum-selling teen and former "American Idol" champ began his freshman year at North Carolina State University recently, and he's managed to work out a schedule that allows him to balance his college education with his country music education.

"I made a 98 on my first math test," McCreery said. "I was pumped about that because math is not one of my best things."

Bing: Scotty McCreery Christmas album

It's not the first test McCreery has passed on his quick rise to fame, first winning Season 10 of "Idol," then becoming the youngest male to enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1. While the siren call of celebrity has had a strong pull, McCreery has said all along he also wants to maintain the normal life he'd been planning before he was swept away by "Idol."

That's why he chose N.C. State over a school closer to Nashville. He lives in an off-campus apartment in Raleigh with lifelong friends, just 15 or 20 minutes from his home in Garner and only an hour from Music City by plane. He goes to class on Mondays and Wednesdays, where he's mostly been left alone to study by courteous fellow students. Then he either joins the Brad Paisley tour on the road or works with producer Mark Bright on writing and assembling songs for his next album.

He's even managed to slip in intramural football on Tuesdays. Well, most Tuesdays.

"Going to State, it gives me a chance to have a little bit of a home base, to have a little bit of normalcy -- whatever normal is," McCreery said. "I think it's good for me as a person. I'm still figuring out what my normal is."

McCreery's popularity is off the charts in the country music world where the average male star is usually in his 30s. McCreery doesn't turn 19 till later this month, and there are signs everywhere that his popularity continues to grow. Billboard and Variety both just named him one of music's top young stars. And even his Christmas album, "Christmas with Scotty McCreery," due out next week, shows signs of unusually strong fan interest. It's Universal Music Group's top preorder this year, outselling even Lady Gaga and Kanye West.

The goal now, McCreery says, is to lock in those fans, which requires him to seek a well-rounded education. Monday through Wednesday he's working on 12 credit hours toward his communications degree. Thursday through Sunday, it's all about learning the secrets of longevity in the country world.

About the only accolade McCreery doesn't have is a top 10 song at country radio, something he knows he'll need if he wants to be doing this at 40.

"We're still looking for songs because that's what the second album is about for me," McCreery said. "I'm going to be picking and choosing. Country music is about the songs. This last year I've had sold-out shows, I've won awards and stuff, but I haven't had that huge monster hit yet. That's a song I really need to have."

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Oct 24, 2012 3:28PM
Sorry to say it (but I doubt this is the first time someone's told you this) but nky you're an idiot. Every entertainment website has at least one "double life" article weekly especially the gay friendly ones. 90% of the time it's about being in the closet, 10% of the time it's about a secret drug or alcohol problem, cheating on your wife etc. It is always a negative phrase. For example, the only people who didn't know anderson cooper was gay are those that don't own computers, he's been outed on gossip sites (the bars and clubs he hangs out in, pix of his boyfriends) for years before he came out. They used to call it anderson's double life. Since the traffic here is so low (only 10 comments on a story posted for more than 2 weeks!) a desperate employee decided to put a sensationalistic title on a benign article in order to get more people to click on it. They knew full well the gay insinuation they were putting out there. So does everyone else except for you apparently, as my post is by far the overwhelming favorite comment here with 70 positive votes last time I checked. I'll assume for your sake you really are that dumb and don't know what the common meaning of the phrase double life means, but it's time you take your pseudo-Republican blinders off and take your head out of your posterior. Let me help you out a bit on your research, the key word you'll see in the definition is "secret", there's nothing secret about Scotty going to school, either to his parents, his fans, or anyone else. It was a pathetic bait ploy, and so far you're the only sucker who doesn't have the brain capacity to get a clue...
Oct 18, 2012 5:35PM
Good for him.  I'll admit he's a good singer.  Not every performer doesn't have the big name backing and big name show to give them a start in the music business while they attend University.  The Abrams Brothers, based out of Joyceville, Ontario, currently are touring the U.S. (along with their cousing Elijah) and are students at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.  These young men, John and James Abrams, are the youngest Canadians to play on the Grand Old Opry.  Now in their early 20's they've been playing together since they were 6 and 9.  They recently won an award on the Canadian Country Music Awards show. They've done this all without any big name backing or appearing on a big name show seen by millions. Wether at home or on the road they always have time for their fans and to give of themselves to local charities.  So just because Scotty can sing and is attending college and trying to maintain a relatively normal life, he isn't the only one.
Oct 16, 2012 5:06AM
Does anyone remember the prelims on AI, when in the group round, Scotty's group shunned a little boy from joining their group? Scotty later cried about it and said that was not how he was used to treating people and he was more about standing up for them but had just went along with the group? Does anyone remember that? I knew right then and there that there was something good about him and his character. Didn't think he'd win the thing, but you knew he was a good person and had a good soul. Whatever good comes his way he fully deserves. Kudos young man.
Oct 12, 2012 8:31PM
There is not a boring bone in his body.  he just wants some normal in his life.  Which is very good.He will be a bigger star because of the way he acts now. just country all the way is all it takes and he is so down to earth. 
Oct 11, 2012 12:32PM

Exactly.  When the heartless b*tch Goddess that is Hollywood fame and fortune chews you up and spits you out, you'll have a nice accounts payable job at abc corp to fall back on.  Although a BA in communications isn't really that marketable.  I'd change majors and go with accounting.  You'll never get rich but you'll always find work.

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