Garner, N.C., native Scotty McCreery has a special affinity for his home state.
To this day, the American Idol winner—who has scored three No. 1 albums and two No. 1 singles—cites an honor from his home state as one of his “prouder moments.”
In March 2017, Scotty was honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award by former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. The award, which is the highest award for state service granted by the governor, recognizes individuals who have shown extraordinary service to the state. Past recipients include Charlie Daniels, Michael Jordan, Richard Petty, Earl Scruggs, Colin Powell, Kenny Rogers, Oprah Winfrey, Tammy Wynette, Gerald Ford, Randy Travis, Billy Graham and more.
As Scotty recently told Kix Brooks of American Country Countdown, the award was “one of my prouder moments ’cause I love my home state of Carolina.”
“I haven’t been asked about this really, so I appreciate you asking,” said Scotty, after Kix broached the subject. “It’s a really big honor for North Carolinians. It’s like the highest civilian honor you can get. It’s pretty cool. I mean, I’ve always tried to go back home and be a part of the community, and Governor McCrory gave me the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and that was a goal of mine. I didn’t know that it would come so soon. That was a massive honor. I’ve got it in my apartment actually here in Nashville. I should bring it to North Carolina and put it up in the house, but it’s one of my prouder moments ’cause I love my home state of Carolina—it’s a big honor.”
Scotty’s single, “In Between,” is currently No. 8 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com